Billboard King Hits a Home Run

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Moreno Never Saw Being a Latino as a Challenge

For his part, Mr. Moreno says he never saw being Latino as a particular challenge, and the distinction of being an ethnic trailblazer in the realm of professional sports is lost on him.

“I always believed that living in America you had an opportunity to be whatever you wanted to be. That’s the way we were brought up, so I always felt as though I had the same opportunity as everyone else. So I don’t think being Latino makes a difference. Whether you’re tall or short or thin or fat or whatever – everybody has the same opportunity,” he insists.

“Some people will always try to put other people in boxes, try to define them as a means to limit them. But the cream always rises to the top. I firmly believe that.”

He will say that his purchase of the Angels was the fulfillment of a dream – one deferred about three years ago when he unsuccessfully attempted to buy a majority stake in and run the Arizona Diamondbacks. Fellow Diamondbacks investors eventually bought him out.

He now says that ownership is the next best thing to being a big league ballplayer – the time-honored dream of every kid who, like Mr. Moreno himself, a grew up slugging it out on Little League and high school baseball diamonds, and watching baseball on television.

Fashioning reality from dreams is a favorite topic with Mr. Moreno. He delivered well-received remarks on the theme during the most recent Latin Business Expo, held in Los Angeles in October. “I pretty much talk to everybody about dreams. Everybody has dreams and to convert those into goals is a worthwhile thing to pursue,” he says.

Today, Mr. Moreno divides his time between homes in Southern California and Phoenix, where his wife, Carole, and their three children live. The couple’s Moreno Family Foundation gives away millions to youth programs and educational causes.

Arturo Moreno

President George W. Bush welcomes Arturo Moreno to the White House and congratulates him on the Angels 2002 World Series win.

Mr. Moreno is particularly keen on University of Arizona (UA) athletics. He has season tickets to the Wildcats football and basketball games, and his charitable foundation has given generously to those and other UA sports programs. Three years ago, Mr. Moreno was named to the Athletic Steering Committee of “Campaign Arizona," a fund-raising effort that aims to raise $1 billion for the university.

As for his philosophy on running the Angels, he says he plans to be engaged but not meddlesome. “My feelings have always been that in business, you try to surround yourself with the best people available and let them do their jobs. It’s important for baseball people to make baseball decisions,” he says. “If I was a player. I probably wouldn’t want the owner around unless she was a nice-looking lady or something, you know?”

Spoken like a true fan.

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