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Dodgers Signed Jackie Robinson 65 Years Ago Today

On this date 65 years ago, the Dodgers signed Jackie Robinson to a contract with the Triple A Montreal Royals.

Here's a look at some Dodger news:

"I think when I decided to play this game, I knew a lot of things were going to happen," Valenzuela said. "My first year with the Dodgers was the hardest year for me. I wanted to practice with the team; I wanted to be with the team. I wanted to just enjoy the game. ... (But) I had it in my head that's part of the game. I tried to do my best; I tried to take care of everyone.

"Also, I liked that year. That happens only once in life. It happened to me in '81. I enjoyed it."

As he answered, looking at me as he spoke, that was when that big smile came across his face. It didn't have anything to do with me, it was just him enjoying the memory, or the moment of talking about the memory. But it really, really made me happy.

Filming of "Fernando Nation" was done during this past season, when a camera crew following Valenzuela around Dodger Stadium, seemingly everywhere -- even to the golf course when the Dodgers held a charity outing. For Valenzuela, who said he liked the film, it achieved what he had hoped -- to remember that his emergence wasn't truly overnight, even if that's the common perception.

"I [wanted it] to show that it was very hard for me," Valenzuela said. "I worked many years in Mexico, traveled by bus many hours. That's the idea, that it wasn't easy, it wasn't easy for me. When I was with the Dodgers, I played one year in the Minor Leagues, I was lucky. But I played before. I hope everyone liked it, because I liked it."

  • Mike Petriello over at Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness has begun his position-by-position review of the 2010 Dodgers, and has covered catcher, first base, and second base so far. A tip of the cap to Petriello for his use of 1989 Topps.


NLCS Game 6: Giants (Jonathan Sanchez) at Phillies (Roy Oswalt)

TV: Fox, 4:57 p.m.