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Nothing Can Compare to the Stir Created by Fernando Valenzuela

June 12, 2003

Re "Our Two Boys of Summer," by Frank del Olmo, Commentary, June 8: Though the comparison between Fernandomania and rich Mexican American Arte Moreno was interesting and enjoyable, nothing can compare to the advent of Fernando Valenzuela.

No sports historian has fully captured the enduring quality he brought to us. He gave a complete commitment to our community and "forced" our society to pay close attention to our heroes.

I loved that he refused to speak English, so millions of sports fans heard Spanish on TV for the first time. Everything about him was unique and compelling. He would often be seen driving around and visiting East L.A., Huntington Park and many other predominately Chicano communities.

Not the least memorable was the way the coldhearted owners ended up treating him like just another piece of property.

Frank M. Sifuentes

Long Beach

*

Del Olmo writes, "Sadly, it took the Angels decades to gain real respectability. And a big reason for their slow ascent to success was their failure to aggressively recruit Latin American baseball players." Silly me, I thought the reason for their "slow ascent" was not scoring enough runs to win ballgames.

Steve Smith

Costa Mesa

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