(Photo above left) Wills and Colborn hug after Colborn introduced Wills at the opening ceremonies for the Jim Colborn Baseball League. (Above right photo) Maury Wills (center) poses with Brent Cookson (left) and Jim Colborn. (Bottom photo) Members of the six teams in JCBL line up for introductions at the Sunday ceremonies. (Photos by Brian D. Wilson)

Dodger great Maury Wills featured guest at JCBL opening ceremonies

July 01, 2009
Former LA Dodger and 1962 MVP award winning shortstop Maury Wills was the featured guest for Opening Ceremonies for the Jim Colborn Baseball League Sunday. Ceremonies took place at the Santa Paula High School Jim Colborn Field. There was music and food, and guests had a chance to meet Maury or Jim and get autographs.The Jim Colborn Baseball League is comprised of current college and elite high school players along with former pro and college players and has been playing games for three weeks.Colborn said the idea for the league came from Chris Gomez and former major leaguer Brent Cookson. He loved the idea. Its something Ive wanted to do for a long time, Colborn said. Colborn noted that they have loyal sponsors but still need more to sustain the six teams.Wills told the gathering, Im excited to be here today. I spent 14 years in the big leagues and enjoyed my career. After the ceremonies, Wills spent a long time talking with fans and signing autographs.He played with the Dodgers from 1959-1966 and 1969-1972. He also played for a short time with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Montreal Expos. In his career, Wills batted .281 with 20 home runs, 458 runs batted in, 2,134 hits, 1,067 runs, 177 doubles, 71 triples and 586 stolen bases in 1,942 games. A winner of the Gold Glove Award in 1961 and 1962, Wills was selected five times for the All-Star Game.
Colborn was born in 1945 in Santa Paula and graduated from Santa Paula High School. He started his professional baseball career in 1967 with the Chicago Cubs. He was assigned to Lodi of the Class A California League. He made his major league debut in 1969 as the Cubs beat the Phillies. He got the win for that one. He also played in following years for the Milwaukee Brewers, Kansas City Royals and the Seattle Mariners. Colborn won 85 games in the majors.He started his coaching career in 1983 with the Cubs as Triple A pitching coach in Des Moines, Iowa. He was the Dodgers pitching coach from 2001 to 2005 and from 2006 to 2007 he was the Pirates Pitching coach. He is currently the Texas Rangers Director of Pacific Rim Operations.

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