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Nov, 2019

Velma Pulbrook A Pioneer As One Of The First Women To Be President Of A Pony/Colt League

If you asked Steve Pulbrook what type of mother he had, he would say she was inspirational, courageous, determined and caring. Velma Pulbrook did not take “no” for an answer. She did not let anything get in the way of developing a Pony-Colt league in Rowland Heights back in 1964. This type of grit and determination made her a pioneer as one of the first women to organize, set up, and be President of a Pony/Colt league.

In 1964, Rowland Heights was a typical small town about 20 miles east of Los Angeles. Rowland Heights did not have many options for young boys to play baseball. The only available baseball at that time was Little League. Velma made it her mission to give the boys who no longer were able to participate in Little League the opportunity to continue to play the sport she loved.

“Even though my Mom didn’t have a child that was of Pony age she was determined to give the kids of her community a chance to play. So she set out to start a league from scratch. She knocked on doors to enlist business owner sponsorships; she recruited kids to play and help in some way. She received guidance and support from PONY every step of the way” Steve said.  

Her tenacity and dedication is what helped the Pony League be successful. Velma organized a Benefit Dance that was held on July 30, 1964 at El Monte Legion Stadium. The proceeds from this dance went towards the formation of the Pony/Colt League. She was steadfast that Rowland Heights would be sanctioned. Her efforts resulted in the Pony/Colt League being approved.  “Developing this league was a great accomplishment for my Mom,” Steve said. “She was thrilled when she received her sanctioned certificate in 1965. Mom had it framed, and it hung in the living room until she passed away in 2007.” To celebrate the league’s creation Velma organized its first parade down the main boulevard in town.

Velma was very diligent for the children. She loved watching them grow and achieve greatness. Developing the Pony/Colt league gave the children a place to go and have fun. If they needed a ride to a game or just practice, she picked them up. Velma made it her duty to get the children to the field and to get them involved. 

Away from PONY Baseball, Velma was married to Stanley Pulbrook who in his free time was a baseball coach for the league. Velma was a stay at home Mom that raised 3 children. 

“She exemplified the Pony League spirit of desire, determination, sportsmanship and community,” Steve said.
Her legacy continues today in Rowland Heights as the Pony League is still thriving 55 years later and continues to positively impact the lives of so many in the community. Velma was recently honored on the field by Rowland Heights Pony League to commemorate her efforts 50 plus years ago. 

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