During the days of their youth in San Marino, they played with and against each other on local Little League fields before scattering to local high schools to hone their baseball skills. Soon, four products of San Marino National Little League will continue their careers at colleges both near and far.
Maranatha High School
California State University, San Marcos
Though a lifelong resident of this city, Will Allen is one of those rare San Marinans who have never attended a school in the San Marino Unified School District, instead opting for St. Edmund’s Nursery School, Mayfield Junior School in Pasadena and Loyola High School in Los Angeles before transferring to Maranatha High in Pasadena.
The constant thread has been baseball, specifically San Marino National Little League, where he has both payed and coached.
“I made so many friends playing here in Little League,” Allen said. “I still see a bunch of them every weekend. Cider Canon has been one of my best friends since we met playing against each other in Farm [Division]. Cider, Jason Tricarico and I play together now at Maranatha and Cider and I have played on a bunch of club teams together.”
Allen mentioned the litany of coaches who have helped shape his baseball pedigree, including Hyuck Choo, Ray Woo, Dan Giddings, Steve Park, Steve Talt, Brett Canon and his father, Chris.
His teams enjoyed frequent success in SMNLL and he enjoyed the notoriety.
“I loved making make the league’s Facebook page after hitting a home run,” he said.
In his final year of Majors, Allen’s team won the District 17 Tournament of Champions – a first for San Marino.
“I knew it was pretty cool to win that one, but I had no idea how big a deal it was until strangers who had either played in San Marino or coached in San Marino came up to me for weeks afterwards telling me how proud they were of our team. And I still get kinda pumped up when I see those winning All-Star and TOC teams I was a part of up on the Wall of Champions at Huntington Middle School.”
Currently wrapping up his senior year at Maranatha, Allen is a team captain and has been recruited to California State University San Marcos, where he will continue his baseball career.
Academically, Allen said he is leaning toward real estate development and business administration.
“But I have been able to take some kinesiology classes at Maranatha that I have really enjoyed, so I am keeping that door open, as well,” he said.
Maranatha have a 24-7 overall record and won the Olympic League championship with an 11-1 mark. The Minutemen, who advanced to the Division 2 semi-finals before being ousted by Torrance, will be competing in the state playoffs beginning this coming Tuesday.
The son of Jennifer and Chris Allen, Will has two younger brothers, Dylan, 15, and Bode, who is 9. He is also active in community service, including projects at the Pasadena Ronald McDonald House, Union Mission among others.
Two years ago, Ethan Chan slid down the street from San Marino High School to Pasadena Poly. His next move will be much more dramatic, however, when the son of Ophelia Chen and Kevin Chan continues his baseball career at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.
Chan started playing T-ball in San Marino National Little League at the ripe age of 4 and continued through Majors. Chan played freshman baseball at San Marino High School and had move up to the varsity squad as a sophomore, until COVID moved in. He has spent his junior and senior years at Poly. This season, the Panthers finished with a 10-8 overall record and 7-5 mark in the Prep League, which was good enough for second place. Though the weather will clearly present a challenge, Chan is looking forward to the next level.
“Baseball and academics have always been my top two priorities,” he said. “Furthermore, I really wanted to go to a small liberal arts college so I could have a more individualized experience. So when Carleton gave me an offer, I knew it was a great fit for me. I was really able to connect with the Carleton coach and felt a strong sense of camaraderie within the baseball team there. Additionally, I appreciated how dedicated each player was to both their studies and baseball. I knew that I would be able to thrive in an environment where the players held similar priorities to myself.”
While at Poly, Chan was a peer mentor and member of the Robotics Club, Science Olympiad, Asian-American Alliance, Cooking Club and the Urban Gardening Club. He said he will enter Carleton with “undecided” written on his docket but has interests in both STEM and business. Chan has two siblings, Elyse, who is 19, and Eila, who is 13.
University of California, San Diego
Spencer Seid fondly recalls his days in San Marino National Little League. Though a frequent all-star and champion, his best memories seem to be more Huckleberry Finn in nature.
“My dad and I would ride our bikes to Huntington Middle School and practice together for a couple hours every weekend,” he said. “That work ethic has stuck with me throughout high school and will go with me to college.”
“High school” has been Flintridge Prep in La Cañada Flintridge and “college” will be the University of California, San Diego, which fields a Division 1 diamond program.
Seid attended Valentine Elementary School before transferring to Prep, where his baseball success was immediate. As a freshman, he made All-Prep League first team after batting .458 and striking out 50 batters in 28 innings with a 1.95 ERA. In his junior year, Seid was again selected to the All-Prep League first team, batting .435 while compiling a 1.26 ERA on the mound. This year his batting average hovered above .400 while his stellar ERA sunk below 1.
Late in the season, Seid was selected as Cal-Hi State Player of the Week for throwing back-to-back no-hitters and was selected first team All-Prep League for the third time in his career.
Away from the field, Seid was captain of the Athletic Council on Leadership, whose purpose is to encourage athletes to take a more active role in leadership and volunteering within the school and greater community. He was also an 8th Grade Buddy, in which he receives a group of six mentees and guides them through their final year before entering high school. Academically, he made the Dean’s List and/or Honor Roll all four years at Flintridge Prep.
The son of Janet and Steven Seid plans on majoring in business economics in the University of California, San Diego’s Sixth College and has his eyes on a career in investing or wealth management.
“I enjoy finance and want to have a career in it,” he said.
Spencer’s sister, Taylor, is wrapping up her senior year at Haverford College.
Sam Howell and his classmate, Ethan Chan, have much more in common than even they might notice. Both enjoyed their time at San Marino National Little League, both will head north after graduating from Polytechnic School in Pasadena and both will continue their baseball careers in a climate that is much different from where they started. For Howell, it’s Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio.
Howell attended Valentine Elementary School from kindergarten through 5th grade.
“My time at Valentine was so much fun because I had the best group of friends and the teachers were thoughtful and friendly,” said Howell, who then transferred to Polytechnic at the beginning of 6th grade.
“At first, I did not want to go at all,” he said with a chuckle. “It was so hard having to leave my friends, but I quickly learned to love Poly. I feel like the teachers at Poly have inspired me to love learning about new ideas and ways of thinking.”
As the saying goes, you can take the boy out of San Marino, but…
“The best memories I have from growing up all happened while playing San Marino National Little League,” he declared. “I played from T-ball through juniors and each year was more fun than the previous year. I bonded with all of my friends playing with or against them. Playing for the all-star team was an enormous amount of fun. I miss the practices in the blistering heat and the Fourth of July celebration with the team.”
Howell also played football at Poly for head Coach Chris Schmoke.
“He has been an incredible role model for me in football, the classroom, and in everyday life,” Howell said.
Howell has also been a leader of Poly’s Men’s Service League and a dedicated founding member of the Cheese Club.
Baseball-wise, he was a four-year varsity starter at Poly, beginning as a utility player before eventually settling in at shortstop, second base with occasional pitching duties.
He eventually decided on Kenyon, where he will likely study economics and Spanish.
“But I haven’t fully decided on a major,” the son of Caroline and Nick Howell said.
Beyond that, Howell said he is fascinated by cars and would like to get a job in the automotive industry.
“Either in business, technology, or even possibly design,” he said.
His sister, Lucy, is 20 and attends the Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon.