Thomas Valenzuela was a man of many talents. He enjoyed tinkering with cars, playing video games, building computer gaming systems and lighting large bonfires while reading books.
Tom was born and raised in Bakersfield, California alongside an extended family who were always there for him. Now in heaven with them all is his place.
Early Life and Education
Thomas Valenzuela was a proud member of Bakersfield’s Chalon Nation and attended South High School before obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree at Cal State Bakersfield. Tom went on to work in various fields including running drug diversion programs for youth and adults as well as providing marriage preparation counselling to Native American families.
He was an avid supporter of the Los Angeles Dodgers and loved tinkering with cars in his free time. Additionally, he enjoyed hosting large bonfires with family.
Thomas Valenzuela leaves behind his wife Virginia Fuentes; parents Jack and Ethel Valenzuela; brothers Eugene and Albert Valenzuela; sister Juanita Lomas; as well as numerous nieces and nephews whom will miss him deeply. Thomas Valenzuela was 45 at the time of his passing away.
Valenzuela is fascinated with the politics of space and explores this subject through his installation practice. Specifically, he utilizes floor tiles, walls, ceilings, corners, any preexisting architecture and outdoor settings in order to produce work that emphasizes spatial tensions.
He retired from the US Navy with the rank of AWV2 and served on maritime patrol/reconnaissance/command and control aircraft as part of an integrated tactical aircrew.
He has over 24 years of experience coaching several elite competitive soccer clubs and boys high school teams throughout South Florida, most recently FNU’s men’s soccer team. With an insatiable passion for the game of soccer and an extensive knowledge-base to call upon, Coach G brings out the best performance of each player on his squad.
Achievement and Honors
Valenzuela was honored to be honored with induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014, being recognized as one of the finest pitchers ever to represent Los Angeles Dodgers. Additionally he made appearances with California Angels, Philadelphia Phillies and Baltimore Orioles throughout his 17-year career.
He earned the nickname of El Toro from fans due to his extraordinary pitching performance during Game Three of the 1981 World Series against New York Yankees.
Valenzuela has extensive coaching experience at both high school and college soccer levels, receiving multiple USCAA Coach of the Year honors. Most recently he served as head coach of Florida National University men’s soccer team, leading them to numerous tournament and championship victories.
He has earned six All-Star Game appearances and two World Series victories with his team, earning himself Silver Slugger awards on two separate occasions while being recognized with a Gold Glove award for his pitching abilities and defensive prowess.
Though not yet honored with induction into the Hall of Fame, Valenzuela remains one of baseball’s greatest legends. His success served as an inspiring example to younger Latino athletes of how Latinos can excel in sports; many younger players looked up to him for guidance.
Tomas Valenzuela has many relatives, such as Brenda Oswald, Carmen Valenzuela, Rosalinda Ramos and Teresa Arellano; all this information can be found through public records.