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.