Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, Pacoima Historical Society Recognize 1965 North Valley Broncos
On June 4, 2022, Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, in conjunction with the Pacoima Historical Society recognized the North Valley Bronco all-star team of 1965 that went to the Bronco International World Series. These 12-year-olds were the first team from the San Fernando Valley, and the first all-Black team ever, to achieve this monumental accomplishment.
Surviving Broncos players and were there to accept their certificates, along with family members of those unable to attend.
USC Football legend Anthony Davis was on that team and attended the event, which took place on the same field they played on nearly 60 years age. Kids from Pacoima Little League and their families attended the ceremony, which was held the same day as their trophy presentations. Davis spoke to the kids, signed autographs, and threw a ceremonial first-pitch to mark the occasion.
"Existing leagues in Pacoima and San Fernando (in 1965) discriminated against people of color playing on their teams," said Davis, who became a two-sport All-American in baseball and football. "Our parents were forced to establish their own little league, and with support from the Pacoima community and the City of Los Angeles, we were successful."
One of the 65 Broncos players was Rickie Chapron, who still lives in the San Fernando Valley. He spoke passionately about his time on the Bronco team.
"While we were winning during the regional playoffs, we stayed in the homes of white families living in mansions," Chapron reminisced. "It was an eye-opening experience for us and them in 1965."
Another Bronco player was Larry Oliver, who recently passed away. His brother, Micheal Oliver, spoke shedding tears when describing his brother’s 17 foul balls and stark determination not to strike out, ultimately landing a base hit. Oliver encouragingly advised the young boys never to give up.
PHS Executive Board members Jimmy Velarde and Nancy Takayama attended the event along with president Crystal Jackson. During the ceremony Councilwoman Rodriguez announced the corner of Osborne and Dronfield, where the field is located, would be named after the North Valley Broncos in honor of the challenges these 12-year-olds faced in their journey for excellence.