Declining registration leads to merger of 2 Pleasanton Little league organizations

American, National join to become new Pleasanton Little League; Foothill stays separate

Pleasanton American Little League and Pleasanton National Little League have combined efforts to create a new, joint Pleasanton Little League starting in the upcoming season.

The decision, announced this month and approved by Little League International, occurred because of Pleasanton American's desire for a long-term solution to address its declining registration, and the move is unrelated to the embezzlement scandal that struck that league earlier this year, according to Mike Paden, president of the Pleasanton Little League.

"Basically you have the two oldest leagues in the city of Pleasanton joining together ... to build a stronger, more competitive league for the boys and girls," Paden said Tuesday.

The new league includes all prior boundaries of Pleasanton American and Pleasanton National, according to Paden. The city's third league, Pleasanton Foothill Little League, remains intact and unchanged.

Officials hope the combined effort will create more competition and help build a better foundation of baseball skills for the boys and girls, and in turn keep their interest in Little League baseball rather than other sports or travel baseball leagues.

"We wanted a stronger, better experience for our kids and we don't want to keep losing kids (to travel ball or other sports)," the Pleasanton American board said in a statement.

As for its support of the merger, the Pleasanton National board said, "We're ambassadors of baseball for all kids, not just those within our boundaries. We have an obligation to help make the Little League baseball experience a positive and fulfilling one for every child."

Paden said Pleasanton American had explored merging with the other leagues for the past several years, including negotiations to potentially join with Pleasanton Foothill.

"A formula to bring the three leagues down to two had been in the works for a number of years," he said.

"It's not about what happened with the American president," he added, referring to the February arrest of former Pleasanton American president Jeremy Lee Cardera for felony embezzlement after police said he stole more than $20,000 from the league's accounts, using some of the money to pay for a family trip to Southern California.

Pleasanton American was repaid the misappropriated funds, according to league officials.

Registration is underway for the new Pleasanton Little League, available online at Kids in the Pleasanton Foothill boundaries can also sign up for their league, online at

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7 people like this
Posted by Member
a resident of Valley Trails
on Nov 25, 2015 at 1:54 pm

A big kudos to the boards of both leagues for working hard and merging the leagues. This will bring better baseball to Little League in Pleasanton.

1 person likes this
Posted by Member
a resident of Hart Middle School
on Nov 25, 2015 at 11:28 pm

To clarify a point made in the article, Pleasanton American purchased insurance to cover theft prior to Jeremy becoming the president. The insurance policy (minus the deductible) is how the money was recouped.

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Posted by Curious
a resident of Del Prado
on Nov 26, 2015 at 11:27 am

Why were the two larger leagues PALL and PNLL combined and the smaller league PFLL was left by itself? Maybe all three leagues should have combined and split into two divisions giving all kids the chance to play at a higher level of competitive play.

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Posted by Member
a resident of Donlon Elementary School
on Nov 26, 2015 at 12:15 pm

PFLL board voted against combining 2 years in a row. The former PFLL president tried to get it passed through.

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Posted by Member
a resident of Mission Park
on Nov 26, 2015 at 12:21 pm

PALL was the smallest league. The original plan was to split PFLL in half and give each half to PNLL and PALL. Merging with PALL was not an option given to PFLL by the district.

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Posted by Member
a resident of Valley Trails
on Nov 26, 2015 at 5:18 pm

PFLL was going to lose 100 players to PNLL, PALL would have lost 75 players to PNLL and the leagues would have been even between the combined PFLL/PALL and PNLL. Registration numbers would have been 600 and 630. Every league was losing players and the end result would have been balance. Now one league will have 700+ and the other will have 400+. That was PFLL's choice unfortunately.

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Posted by Member
a resident of Mission Park
on Nov 26, 2015 at 9:38 pm

Not sure on all the numbers, but for PFLL majors alone, 29 would have gone to PALL and 27 to PNLL.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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