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CALIFORNIA RODEO SALINAS ANNOUNCES HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES

THREE MEMBERS TO BE INDUCTED SEPTEMBER 23, 2021
06/24/2021

The California Rodeo Salinas will be honoring over 111 years of western heritage and tradition this September. The California Rodeo Salinas Hall of Fame was started in 2010 during the centennial celebration to acknowledge those who have contributed to the success the Rodeo has achieved over the years. The class of 2021 has three members:

Barbara Balentine – Supporter/Contributor

Joe Baumgartner – Contract Personnel/Performer

Bill Martinelli – Contestant

These individuals will be honored at the California Rodeo Salinas Hall of Fame Induction Luncheon on Thursday, September 23rd from 11:30am to 1:00pm on the Mike Storm Director’s Patio at the Salinas Sports Complex (1034 N. Main Street, Salinas). Tickets are $30 per person and include lunch and beverages during the ceremony where the inductees and/or their families will receive their trophies, give speeches and more. Tickets can be purchased here: https://www.carodeo.com/events/2021/hall-of-fame-induction-2021. The luncheon is presented by the Jim and Sally Martins Family.


Read about the inductees below:

Barbara Balentine – Supporter/Contributor

Barbara Balentine has tirelessly promoted the California Rodeo Salinas for almost four decades. Her loyalty and devotion to this organization is unmatched. She worked as the lone clerical person in the office, marketing coordinator and sponsorship coordinator, all while volunteering for other organizations in the community. She’s helped organize the Rodeo’s Cowboy Shoot Out golf tournament, now known as the Larry Balentine Memorial Cowboy Shoot Out, since its inception in 1989. As sponsorship coordinator, she worked with President Al Hansen to develop what is still one of the most elite sponsor hospitality programs in the industry. Barbara’s spirit and spunk along with her dedication to the California Rodeo are well known in Salinas and the rodeo world. Barbara officially retired in the fall of 2020, but refuses to actually ever leave the California Rodeo family. She enjoys having a cocktail or two with her friends and spending time with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Joe Baumgartner – Contract Personnel/Performer

Joe Baumgartner is a legend in the rodeo world. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area who didn’t become involved in rodeo until his high school years, Baumgartner was a natural at his chosen profession from the beginning, always driven by the single purpose of keeping bull riders safe from injury.* He was one of the toughest bullfighters of all time, with a career spanning three decades that included protecting cowboys here in Salinas for 18 years. Prior to fighting bulls in Salinas, Joe worked on the livestock crew behind the chutes. He was named the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association’s bullfighter of the year three times and was nominated by the cowboys to fight bulls at both the National Finals Rodeo and Professional Bull Riding Finals for 14 years. He put his life on the line at several other prestigious rodeos such as the Reno Rodeo, St. Paul Rodeo, Red Bluff Round Up, Clovis Rodeo and many more. He retired in 2011 after fighting bulls at the Pendleton Roundup for the 19th time.* Joe lives with his wife Melanie in Las Vegas, NV and they have two sons, Robert and Joey.

*Info courtesy of the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame.

Bill Martinelli – Contestant

Bill Martinelli was a native Californian and lived much of his life in Oakdale, CA the self-proclaimed Cowboy Capital of the World. He attended California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo where he was part of the rodeo team and he served in the Army from 1958-1960. Bill won the Salinas saddle bronc riding title three times in 1965, 1971 and 1972, earning him the Governor’s Award which was given to 3-time California Rodeo Salinas champions. He loved competing in Salinas and considered it to be one of the most prestigious rodeos he ever participated in. He also team roped in Salinas for many years, traveled to many other rodeos across the United States and was part of Buster Ivory’s Rodeo Far West show in Europe. Bill qualified for the National Finals Rodeo 8 times, winning the average once. Bill passed away in May of 2020 and is remembered for being a humble storyteller as well as an outstanding cowboy. He is survived by his wife Kay, his four daughters, numerous grandchildren and two great granddaughters.

Traditionally held in July, the California Rodeo Salinas will be held September 23-26, 2021. Visit www.carodeo.com for information about tickets and events.

About California Rodeo Salinas

The California Rodeo Salinas will take place September 23-26, 2021. The California Rodeo Association is a not-for-profit organization that strives to preserve and promote the traditions of the California Rodeo Salinas and the West. We support the community and other non-profit organizations through the staging of the annual California Rodeo Salinas and other year round operations of the Salinas Sports Complex. Through donation of our facility, vending and fundraising opportunities during Rodeo and other events, the California Rodeo Association returns almost $500,000 annually to local non-profits. For more information about the California Rodeo Salinas, log on to www.CARodeo.com or call the California Rodeo Office at 831-775.3100. ‘Like’ the California Rodeo on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CARodeoSalinas or follow us on twitter @CaliforniaRodeo for updates, photos and more.

CALIFORNIA RODEO SALINAS ANNOUNCES HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES

Special Thanks to Our All Around Grand Champion Sponsors

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