In a ceremony today with LA City Councilwoman Monica Rodriquez, a baseball field was renamed in honor of the North Valley Broncos.
The North Valley Broncos were the first all-Black team from Southern California to make the Bronco World Series back in 1965. The Bronco World Series league is a baseball and softball competition for 11-12 year olds.
The ceremony included members of the original 1965 North Valley Broncos team. The new " North Valley Broncos Square” is the place where the team first played in their hometown of Pacoima [ pa-coy-ma] in the San Fernando Valley. Councilwoman Monica Rodriquez spoke during the ceremony about the effort it took to create this field and team.
Monica Rodriquez: The members of the North Valley Broncos were convened as a result of their parents that had to pull together resources to lease the lot that is behind us that enabled an all African-American team to be able to do what every other child so often gets to do that we so often take for granted, and that’s to come together and play baseball.
For Black Americans the luxury of playing baseball wherever they wanted to was not something given to them. It wasn’t until 1963 that there were desegregated leagues. The team was not even allowed to play at the park across the street, said former 1965 North Valley Bronco member Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis: There’s a lot of kids that started their careers here, and right across the street there. We couldn’t play at that park, if you can believe it or not. That was like a miniature Dodger Stadium, because that was that. It was so groomed. And we always looked at that field, that beautiful grass. We had gophers over here and we had to play with the gophers. But still, that honed our skills.
Anthony Davis who went on to play Football and Baseball at USC, started his athletic career in the now “North Valley Broncos Square.”
Anthony Davis: If I don’t have this park, I don’t go on to be drafted by the Baltimore Orioles, go to USC and play on three national title teams. I started right here...But this is something this is very monumental. And matter of fact, I’ve got a lot of awards in my life as an athlete, but this one I’m going to really cherish because this is where everything started for me.
The legacy of the North Valley Broncos has provided inspirations for generations of youth in baseball today.