Photos by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – Prior to the first pitch against Williams this past weekend, Head Coach Mike Rizzo and the rest of the Whittier College Baseball team were able to witness three alumni, Bill Pate '65, Jim Colborn '67, and Gary Jones '66 throw out ceremonial first pitches.
These proud Poets served as honorary captains for the game and threw out the first pitch in commemoration of their friend and classmate, Ken Florence and his wife, Verena whose family trust has made a wonderful gift to support the baseball program.
Bill Pate graduated from Whittier College in 1965 with a BA in Political Science and a JD from UCSD. He served his nation in Vietnam with the Marines, and came back to become a Superior Court judge in San Diego County. Pate is an active member in the Coronado community, a mentor for at-risk youth, a lifelong baseball fan, and a Lancer.
Jim Colborn graduated from Whittier College in 1967 and was inducted into the inaugural Purple & Gold Hall of Fame. Colborn pitched for the Chicago Cubs, the Milwaukee Brewers, the Kansas City Royals, and the Seattle Mariners. In 1973 he became the Brewers' first-ever 20-game winner. Colborn was a pitching coach for eight seasons between 2000 and 2007 with the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Pittsburgh Pirates, and was the Texas Rangers' bullpen coach in 2008.
Gary Jones graduated from Whittier College in 1966 and was inducted into the Purple & Gold Hall of Fame in 1989. He was signed by the New York Yankees in 1967 and made his major league pitching debut in 1970 pitching two scoreless innings against the Detroit Tigers.