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Instead, Weaver was born, bred and trained to be an ace, all within a short drive of Angel Stadium.

He grew up in Simi Valley, a prosperous suburb just northwest of the sprawling San Fernando Valley, and learned the game on its youth league fields. Jeff, six years older, had a 12-year major league career with six teams, winning 104 games and a 2006 World Series ring with St. Louis.

After high school, Jered joined Long Beach State’s powerful program, proudly becoming a Dirtbag and winning the Roger Clemens Award as college baseball’s top pitcher. The Angels drafted him 12th overall in 2004 and eventually signed him after a tense showdown between the club and his agent, Scott Boras, who watches his client from a field box right behind home plate in Anaheim.

Weaver’s ascent has been remarkably smooth. He reached the majors in 2006, immediately establishing himself as a starter and winning at least 11 games in each of his first six seasons. He pitched well in the 2009 playoffs and then made the past two AL All-Star teams, leading the majors in strikeouts in 2010 despite comically bad run support before going 18-8 last season with 198 strikeouts and a 2.41 ERA to finish second in the AL Cy Young voting to Justin Verlander.

And for all his success, free agency held no interest for Weaver. He loves the Angels’ family vibe, and he embraces the Orange County lifestyle with his wife, Kristin, another former Long Beach State athlete.

So last August, Weaver signed a five-year, $85 million deal to stay with the Angels through 2016. He probably passed on tens of millions in free agency _ hardly a likely move by a Boras client _ but Weaver was determined not to break the bank at the risk of leaving his Newport Beach home.

“I love this team and this area, everything about it,” Weaver said. “I’m just glad I got to do this in front of them. That’s how I would have wanted it if I could choose.”

Weaver is particularly dominant at Angel Stadium, where Minnesota’s Denard Span says his distinct cross-body throwing motion lifts his release point so high that the ball actually appears to be coming out of the fake rock pile just to the left of the batter’s eye beyond the center field fence.

Weaver also has personal traditions on that mound. He used to write the initials of his maternal grandparents in the dirt, but after young Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart was killed by a drunk driver in 2009, Weaver began carving a solemn “NA” into the mound.

He did it before every inning of his no-hitter, keeping his fallen friend close.

“It just keeps me in the right frame of mind,” Weaver said. “It’s a special thing for me, and this is a special place.”