70th Anniversary - Youth Village History

The 2022 season will be the 70th anniversary of San Jose American Little League. Along with a number of activities during the season to celebrate this special milestone, we are taking a look back at our history by sharing fond memories from alumni and families that contributed to our baseball community. This includes not only stories for those who played for SJALL, but also our predecessor organization, Santa Clara Valley Youth Village.

Led for many years by Father Walter Schmidt of nearby Santa Clara University, Youth Village was a vital and thriving organization that served an important role for young people in our community. Youth Village programming included art classes, a glee club, weekly radio broadcasts, a club newspaper, weekly dances, and a popular sports program. The sports program would go on to foster the development of a number of US Olympians, and include sports such as boxing, swimming, track and field, gymnastics, and, of course, baseball.

In 1985, the Youth Village property was sold and San Jose American Little League moved to its current location at Woodland Field at the former Cory Elementary School complex, where we continue the tradition of supporting the healthy development of young people in our community.

Here are just a handful of the stories and memories from the past.

Alumni Stories

Debbie Gonzalez


Games were played at Youth Village on Newhall Ave.

There were more teams at Youth Village. Parent participation is better now.

Youth Village was a great field.  Would go to the games with my friends and watch our friends play. 

Henry Rendler


Played games at Youth Village; practiced at Hester School

Snack shack still the favorite. We had 5-cent sno-cones back then. I am involved with Branham Hills Little League, and get to see American Little League in inter-league play occasionally. Nice to see the League continuing along. 

I played on the Elks (Lodge 522) team for 5 years. My older brothers Eugene, Eric, and Will also played for the Elks. We played all of our games at Youth Village. We won the majors league title in 1966, and had a team party at the Elks Club on West. Alma Ave. in San Jose. Played on the 1966 All-Star team with Pete & Paul Boskovich, Jack Hostler, and others. Our coaches included Whitey Corder; Joe Freitas; Bob Hostler; and Ray Townsend, Sr. 

Other teams included: Collier Cubs; Youth Village; Deluxe Market (Dodgers?); Kiwanis; Memory Post; Littleman Market; Civitan; & P & X Foods. 


Dennis Campbell


My son also played in the League; I managed from 1991 to 1997.

Trace Elementary

Lots of fond memories and developed life long friends.

Mark Saavedra

1972 - 1976

Youth Village

Tight knit community that was safe to network with other players. Fair on the field and objective. Started because of merits not because everyone needs to participate. 

Kathy Teague


Youth Village/ Cory

Moved to Oregon in 1988, I keep in touch thru your web-site.  The field looks great

I was on Board of Directors from 1977 thru 1987.  When we lost our field at Youth Village and were given access to Cory School, the construction of the field started.  Many parents helped, but what I remember most was the Sheriff's Dept had a "weekenders program" for non violent offenders who were working off their sentences by doing community service.  They worked very hard to build the field, but I remember most was when their time was completed, many continued to come back (on their own time) to finish what they had started.  We invited the Sheriff and those who helped us to opening day, and many came.  Baseball brings people together, and it was very evident on that opening day.  I am proud the league continues to make lifetime memories for all the players.  I was blessed to be a part of it.

Aaron Lilly


Cory Elementary

The league was a great league when I played, and it the people their now are doing a great job keeping the tradition going. I love the field, you guys keep it in great shape. 

I have great memories of my time at American. I lived about a mile a away from the field (I still do). I remember riding my bike to games. My 12 year old year, my major team (Cardinals) made it to the TOC's. During regular season we went 22 - 2. We went to the semi-final round and unfortunately lost to Camberian Park. I remember they had the best chili. My cousin came along a couple of years after me and played for the Giants and they won TOC. (Mitch Ravizza, dude was a stud). Bud Geracie (Mercury News sports writer) said "The Littlest of leagues, America Little League won the District 12 TOC's. I think his son played on the team. It was pretty cool to see American get a shoutout in the Mercury.

Eric Sullivan 


Volunteered and coached for much longer 

Cory, Hoover Middle, Lincoln High, Del Mar High (combo teams) 

I was on many all star teams, and was on the TOC champion team in 2006. First home run. Making friends, playing baseball, eating hot dogs at the snack shack.

American little league was the best! We had one of the coolest stadiums in the district and opening day always felt like we were playing in the big leagues. I made so many friends along the way and some great memories too. A lot of my students play for American now, and it is fun to live through them as they have their glory days. I was fortunate to represent American as an All-Star for many years. But nothing beat that 2006 TOC majors Giants team that did the unthinkable! Little ol’ American little league won a district 12 championship! It doesn’t get much better than a Saturday morning game at Corey.   



Cory school and Trace elementary 

Awesome snack shack


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