The Obit For Joe Valenzuela

Joseph C. Valenzuela

AZCentral.com
December 11, 2011


Joseph C. Valenzuela 87, of Tucson, AZ, was called home on December 9, 2011.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Mary Paredes; daughters, Norma (Rich) Alday, Gloria (Dan) Altemus, Irma (Richard) Martinez and Aida Valenzuela; nine grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and one sister.

Raised on the Tohono O'Odham reservation, until 13, Joe was coached at the Sells Indian School by baseball legend, Coach Frank Sancet. While attending Tucson High School, he was a pitcher on the State Championship baseball teams in 1941, 1942 and 1943. In 1941, while on the American Legion team under Chuck Hollinger, Joe pitched the longest legion game in Arizona history, 16 innings.

Joe spent seven years playing professional baseball with the San Diego Padres and New York Yankees. He was managed by Vernon "Lefty" Gomez and Casey Stengel. Joe served on the Tucson Baseball Commission. He was a charter member of the Tucson Benefit Sports Club and Tucson Badger "T" Club, which is comprised of old former THS Badgers. He was elected to the Pima County Hall of Fame. One of the baseball fields at Reid Park was named after him.

A Memorial Mass will be held at St. Ambrose Church, on Tuesday, December 27, 2011, at 11:00 a.m.

In lieu of flowers send donations to Boys and Girls Club, P.O. Box 40217, Tucson, AZ 85717. Arrangements by BRING'S BROADWAY CHAPEL, 6910 E. Broadway.