Jesus “Sue” Valverde (1921-1959)
2018 Memorial Award
Football, Basketball, Baseball
Jesus earned 11 varsity letters from 1926 to 1930 for sports competition in his four years at St. Mary’s High School. Jesus has been called “one of the ten best athletes of his era at St. Mary’s High School and maybe even Stockton.”
He participated in football, basketball and baseball in high school. His high school basketball team played for the national championship in Chicago. This team was inducted into the Stockton Athletic Hall of Fame in 1991.
He was offered football scholarships at Loyola Marymount, St. Mary’s College and Santa Clara University. To help support the family (his widowed mother had left Texas in 1920 with 13 children looking for a better life and came to Stockton).
Jesus was offered a professional baseball contract with the Seattle team of the Pacific Coast League. Minor league baseball did not pay well and so he gave up pursuing sports after high school and went to work to support his family.
He continued to play recreational softball and coached youth sports and Sunday baseball. In addition to his team’s induction into the Stockton Hall of Fame in 1991, his family was inducted into the Stockton Athletic Hall of Fame in 1973, and in 2012 Jesus was inducted into the Stockton Mexican Sports Hall of Fame.
He passed away at the age of 48 in 1959.