Jeff Williams

Jeff Williams began his baseball career on the diamonds of Canberra at the age of 6, progressing through junior representative programs and A Grade competition for both Wests and Indians baseball clubs. He played college baseball for Southeastern Louisiana University from 1992-1996, still holding numerous pitching records and being part of the Lions Hall of Fame (inducted in 2004).  Signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1996, Jeff became on the ninth Australian to play in the Majors when he made his debut against the Mets on 12 September 1999.  He pitched with the Dodgers organisation until 2002. In 2003 his career took him to Japan and the Hanshin Tigers, helping the Tigers win their first Central League Championship in 18 years in his first season, earning 25 saves as a closer.  He played with the Tigers until 2009, appearing in 371 games and recording 47 saves. Jeff Williams represented Australia at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 and again in Athens in 2004, where the team won a silver medal.  In Athens he is credited with two saves across the tournament, including the semi-final win over Japan. When his professional commitments allowed, Jeff would return to Australia and contribute to local baseball, having coached U/16 and U/18 representative sides in the National Championships.  Since retiring in 2011 Jeff has remained heavily involved in the game as a talent scout for the Hanshin Tigers.