1994 Inductee - Esquiel 'Tubby' Alvarez

1994 Inductee - Esquiel 'Tubby' Alvarez

Posthumous, sports

Esequiel “Tubby” Alvarez was born in Cananea, Sonora, Mexico in 1906. He immigrated to the United States as a young man with his family, which included his mother, and several brothers and sisters. He spent his teenage years picking citrus fruit in the San Fernando Valley. These years were the happiest times of his life. His children state that he had great memories of that period.

The family arrived in Stockton as migrant farm workers. He obtained work at the Fiberboard Paper Products Corporation and ultimately worked there for almost 40 years. He married Margaret Lujan in 1928 and together they had three children; Margaret, Robert and Daniel. Mr. Alvarez attended adult education to become a United States citizen, and he was extremely proud of that accomplishment.

In the 1930’s he was a member of a baseball team called “Club Mexico” where he was the team’s catcher. His brother Roy Alvarez was a pitcher for the same team. Mr. Alvarez was one of the forerunners and founders of the baseball league for Latinos. After a number of years as an excellent ball player, “Tubby” decided to turn to coaching and managing baseball teams. Baseball was his life, along with his family. At his own expense, Mr. Alvarez would provide transportation for all the players to attend games all over Northern California. The teams would meet religiously every Sunday at his home and he would be delighted to escort all of his players to their games.

Tubby organized baseball and basketball teams and were sponsored by various churches in the area. He directed the Saint Aloysius Boys Town and the Laetare Club from St. Gertrudes church. It is a known fact that everyone who played sports in the 1930’s and the 1940’s in this area played under the direction of “Tubby Alvarez”. He was extremely well respected for his talents and his coaching abilities.

In 1955, Mr. Alvarez organized and founded the California Mexican Baseball League. He was assisted by his wife Margaret and his daughter. “Tubby” wrote the first set of rules and by-laws for the “Cal-Mex” League. His son-in-law stepped in after elections to continue his efforts. Mr. Alvarez was a major role model and mentor to all athletes in the community. Mr. Alvarez was an active member of the Club Mexico and Latin American Club Baseball teams. He strongly felt being involved with sports activities was a major deterrent against juvenile delinquency.

His children and grandchildren have always held him in high regard making him their favorite role model. “Tubby” was one of the major sports figures in Stockton’s history.