South Bay

Beloved South Bay Baseball Coach Dies from COVID-19

Family shares memories of beloved South Bay baseball coach who died from COVID-19

NBC Universal, Inc.

Friends of Sam Aleman are paying it forward Saturday at the Luckie Waller Little League Fields, “Little League was his second home, he wanted the best for the kids,” said Richard Inzunza, President of the Luckie Waller Little League. Aleman was a mentor to Inzunza who followed in Aleman’s footsteps, “He knew the ins and the outs of all the Little League rules he guided me."

As it turns out Sam Aleman guided a whole lot of people in the South Bay. His passion was teaching kids about baseball and life.

And on Saturday at a drive-up COVID-19 safe fundraiser many of those baseball families came out to give back to Aleman’s family.

“He meant a lot to the community, everybody knew Sam,” Deshun Thomas told NBC 7.

Aleman died from COVID-19 in early February after a week in the hospital. And while baseball meant the world to him, that was second to his wife of 33 years, Maricela.

“Sam was, he was, just my everything and I miss him, and I miss him immensely,” she shared.

It was she who gave her husband the freedom to do all he could for his community, “He was my better half, he kept me grounded,” she said through tears.

Sam and Maricela Aleman raised three children, Gabbie, Sammy, and Nieves, his youngest daughter, said her dad had the biggest heart. And Aleman had just become a grandfather too. But because he was sick he never got to see baby Lucy face to face.

Aleman gave back through his South Bay upholstery business, donating specialized beds to an organization that redecorated the bedrooms of kids who were fighting cancer.

And his wife hopes his passion for giving back to make their community a better place will inspire others to do the same.

“If everybody could do a little bit more right now to help a neighbor or a friend do it because life, life is too short, life is too short,” said Maricela Aleman.

The Luckie Waller Little League is accepting donations on behalf of the Aleman family.

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