February 28, 2011 |
As a kid growing up in Norwalk, Rod Barajas used to look up to the heavens when winding up to pitch, just like his hero did. "I'm Fernando Valenzuela," Barajas would say. His mother would tease him whenever she heard him say that. "No, you're not," she replied. "You're Pedro Guerrero. " Barajas, 6 or 7 years old at the time, would get upset. "I loved Pedro Guerrero too, but I was Fernando," he said. Barajas laughed as he told the story recently in the Dodgers' clubhouse at Camelback Ranch.
October 20, 2010 |
Where were you during "Fernandomania," about 30 years ago? As a 14-year-old, Paul Haddad taped the radio broadcasts and edited them together, turning Vin Scully's calls of that 1981 season into personal keepsakes. It was, for the L.A. boy, a meeting of two masters: the pitching prodigy from a dusty Steinbeckian village in Mexico and the Bronx-born broadcaster at peak form ... baseball's velvet fog. And the ultimate L.A. marriage. "The best part is, at any given moment, I get to relive Scully in some of his finest moments," Haddad, now a freelance documentary producer, says of his collection of tapes.
April 24, 2010
My town? Stick around Eric Gagne announced his retirement last week, not with a Dodger Stadium farewell ceremony but in an interview with a Quebec website. With Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera in town to play the Angels this weekend, that got us thinking: Who was the last great Dodger to go out as a Dodger? The New York Yankees will make sure Jeter and Rivera go out as Yankees. And what of the Dodgers so cherished by the fans of Los Angeles? Gagne had a bad arm for two years, then left for a better offer in Texas.
September 14, 2009 |
Today, when Jessica Romero talks about her future, the Wilmington teenager and star of the new feature film "Down for Life" says she wants to become a marine biologist. But not so long ago, Romero wasn't sure whether she'd have any future at all. Like the girl-gang leader she plays in "Down for Life," she was embarked on an unpredictable, sometimes violent existence with no clear path leading out. "I wouldn't think about tomorrow, I would always just think about the moment because tomorrow was never promised to you," Romero said during an interview last week with fellow cast members Andrea Valenzuela and Isamar Guijarro and director Alan Jacobs at Locke High School in South Los Angeles, where some of the film was shot.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 3, 2009 |
Hall of Fame jockey Ismael "Milo" Valenzuela, who won both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in 1958 and 1968 and retired with a remarkable 2,545 overall triumphs, died Wednesday at his Arcadia home after a lengthy illness. He was 74. Valenzuela, one of 22 children born to parents who had immigrated to the United States from Mexico, rose to prominence at Southern California racetracks before branching out to become nationally famous. He had a powerful yet smooth style, comparable to that of the legendary Eddie Arcaro, and was known as being especially capable aboard feisty 2-year-olds.
March 15, 2009 |
Halfway through the Mexican national team's morning workout Saturday, a man slowly wheeled a cart full of baseballs toward the middle of the infield. Not every team has the luxury of using a 17-year major league veteran and Cy Young Award winner to keep its batting practice pitcher supplied with balls. But in this case, Fernando Valenzuela was only too eager to oblige. "Whatever they need," Valenzuela said. "I'm real, real happy to be part of this."
December 29, 2007 |
The turbulent career of 45-year-old jockey Patrick Valenzuela took another downward turn Friday when the California Horse Racing Board terminated his conditional riding license after learning of a recent arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol. A statement issued by outgoing CHRB Executive Director Ingrid Fermin said that "consuming or being under the influence of alcohol is a violation" of the conditional license. Valenzuela was arrested Dec. 20 at 2:48 a.m.
September 29, 2006 |
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela returned from his two-month absence from Southern California racetracks Thursday and won on one of his four mounts at the Oak Tree meet at Santa Anita. Glamour Cat, with Valenzuela aboard, won the third race. Richard B. Shapiro, chairman of the California Horse Racing Board, said Valenzuela had satisfied the final request of the board concerning the rider's six-week stay at a facility that treats patients with mental-health and substance-abuse issues.
September 27, 2006 |
The jockeys are returning to Santa Anita as the Oak Tree meet opens today, some of them having recovered from injuries, one stopping by on a visit from the East Coast and another seemingly about to be extricated from between the rock and the hard place where he wedged himself. The latest saga in Patrick Valenzuela's career moved toward a resolution Tuesday when he was tentatively named on four horses for Thursday's card.
September 23, 2006 |
The jockey with the familiar "P Val" on the back of his helmet was in the saddle as horses galloped around the track during training hours Friday morning at Santa Anita. But whether Patrick Valenzuela will be in the irons on opening day of the Oak Tree meet Wednesday depends on the outcome of the latest legal wrangling involving the California Horse Racing Board and the brilliant but often troubled jockey with a history of substance abuse. "I'm here today working horses and I'm healthy.