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Steve Strelich


Inducted February 1971

Outstanding local sportsman, community-minded citizen, youth benefactor and unofficial U.S. goodwill ambassador to Yugoslavia. Born in Pueblo, Colo., raised in Yugoslavia, returned to America to launch a fabulous, colorful sports career. Was known as the Wrestling Swede and gained large following throughout the West and in Mexico. Also boxed professionally. Entered dance and swim marathons, auto racing and sky diving, appeared in many films. Start promoting boxing and wrestling here in 1938 and built stadium at 22nd and V Streets bearing his name. During World War Two, sold millions in war bonds. Made Bakersfield famous as a boxing hotbead through encouragement of young fighters and outstanding Golden Gloves teams. Dedicated golfer and fisherman. Married to Loretta.