Community Impact

A San Antonio Express News article on June 15, 1969, announced the annual PHY Little League Picnic that was being held at Pablo’s Grove (now called Camargo Park), a park in the West Side of San Antonio. The event was to include delicious barbeque, and a variety of entertainment activities such as games, prize-drawings, music, dancing, and a softball tournament. For families who did not have much money to spend, one can easily conclude this was an ideal event for families to attend because it was free admission, a safe, fun, family environment, and an all-day affair on a Sunday afternoon. The purpose of the picnic was to help raise money to support the youth of the West Side community of San Antonio (“Yellow Jackets Picnic.” San Antonio Express-News, 15 June. 1969, pp. 8).

Interview of Jerry Guevara by Adam Nerio, March 31, 2020. Jerry recalls the fond memories of “Field Day” and playing with the PHY. 

Jerry Guevara recalled the fond memories of this event in addition to “Field Day,” an annual event held on a Saturday where parents would form teams with the players and compete against each other while enjoying “a cookout.” The experience of playing with the PHY, Jerry Guevara nostalgically declared, were “the best years of my life” (Guevara, Jerry. Interview.).

Interview of Reynaldo Nerio by Adam Nerio, April 5, 2020. My grandfather recalls driving by the baseball field while on-duty and watching his sons play while he listened to the police radio in case the dispatcher called him. 

Therefore, when he and his wife, Mary (my grandmother) were raising their six kids (including my father and uncle), he felt it necessary and important to get his boys involved with the PHY. He recalled driving by the baseball field while on-duty and watching his sons play while he listened to the police radio in case the dispatcher called him (Sr. Nerio, Reynaldo. Interview. By. Adam Nerio. 5 April 2020).

West side gang territories

Source: Montejano, David. “Quixote’s Soldiers: A Local History of the Chicano Movement, 1966-1981”. Dialog box added by Adam Nerio.

Throughout the 1960’s, outbreaks of gang violence occurred in the West Side of San Antonio (Montejano 30). During the 1959-1972 period, “Latin” delinquency accounted for about 60 percent of all delinquency, where the greatest number of arrests stemmed from shoplifting, burglary, and vapor sniffing (Montejano 135).

Aside from the impact the PHY had on individuals, it is important also to assess the broader impact. It is interesting to observe the stark absence of gang activity in the PHY neighborhood. A map presented in a study of San Antonio gang activity highlights the West Side San Antonio neighborhoods overrun by various gangs with names such as Ghost Town, La India, Detroit, Chicago, and Los Apaches (Montejano 35).  Yet, no gangs operated in the PHY area. One can deduce this could easily have been a result of the active involvement of youth level aged players in organized sports resulting from the presence of the PHY.


Recognition from City Council, City of San Antonio October 17, 1985. Source: Johnny Zepeda private collection.

The impact of the PHY was indeed profound and well recognized throughout the city as demonstrated by a City of San Antonio commendation, signed by the Mayor Henry Cisneros in 1985, which reads in part, “…On behalf of a grateful citizenry, the City Council commends the Prospect Hill Yellow Jackets Athletic Club for its fifty-three years of service to the youth of San Antonio, and extends best wishes for its continued success.” (see figure 17)

Interview of Johnny Zepeda by Adam Nerio, July 11, 2020. Johnny recalls "the legacy" of the PHY athletic club.


The Ladies’ Auxiliary ran the concession stand and ensured the financial viability of the operation. Source: San Antonio Light, October 30, 1960.

Little league baseball, soccer, and pop warner football established another need that made the PHY athletic club a family affair--a Ladies Auxiliary. Therefore, a Ladies Auxiliary of the PHY formed in 1959, and it played an important role in the youth development program. The time they devoted towards the program made it a success. Many club member’s wives were auxiliary members and contributed to work like running the concession stand. The Ladies Auxiliary also had elected officers that included, a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, sub-treasurer, and telephone chairman (“Yellow Jackets Picnic.” San Antonio Express-News, 15 June. 1969, pp. 8). Johnny Zepeda, a former participant with the PHY whose father John, served as president of the athletic club in 1969, recalls the importance of the Ladies Auxiliary stating, “what the women did within this organization was awesome...they’re the ones that were there to care for their kids.” (Zepeda, Johnny. Interview. By Adam Nerio. 11 July 2020)


John Zepeda, Prospect Hill Yellow Jackets Athletic Club President, 1969. Source: PHY 40th Anniversary Book, Willie Chacon private collection.

Despite a few setbacks, such as a fire in 1962 damaging the concession stand at the field, located on Dartmouth Street, the PHY athletic club continued to move forward and grow through continued participation from the local community and its youth (“Yellow Jackets Plan Big Year for No. 30.” San Antonio Light, 29 Dec. 1963, pp. 4-C). In 1963, the PHY athletic club included six teams of baseball Minor League, six teams of Little League, a six-team girls’ softball league, a women’s softball league of six teams, and a slow pitch softball league for men. In addition, the PHY also had a three-league soccer program for pee-wees, juniors, and seniors (“Yellow Jackets Plan Big Year for No. 30.” San Antonio Light, 29 Dec. 1963, pp. 4-C).

Community Impact