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Jeff Williams

Jeff Williams - LHP
Hometown: Canberra, ACT
Debut: 12 September 1999
Final Game: 28 September 2002
Teams played for: Los Angeles Dodgers, Hanshin Tigers (NPB)

The first Major Leaguer from the Australian Capital Territory and Australia's first left-handed starting pitcher MLB export, Jeff Williams played four years with the Los Angeles Dodgers before spending seven seasons playing in Japan for the Hanshin Tigers.

Williams was born and raised in the Page area of Canberra and played college baseball in the USA for Southeastern Louisiana University from 1992-1996. With the SLU Lions, Williams was named an NCAA All-American his senior year, earning one of the top honors in collegiate athletics thanks to a 12-4 record, 125 strikeouts in 128.2 innings pitched, and a 3.15 ERA. He was inducted into the university's athletics hall of fame in 2004.

In 1996, the Dodgers signed Williams as an amateur free agent, and three years later he debuted for them on 12 September 1999, pitching the final inning of a 10-3 loss to the New York Mets. Primarily a starter in the Minors, Williams pitched mostly in relief in his brief Major League career. He played for the Dodgers until 2002, compiling a 4-1 record with a 7.49 ERA in 37 games.

Like many of his Australian MLB contemporaries, Williams represented Australia on the 2000 Olympic team, placing seventh. He returned to the Olympic diamond four years later, earning a silver medal for Australia in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. Williams played a key role in Team Australia's surprising success, earning a save in the semifinals against Japan.

After his MLB career ended, Williams signed with the Hanshin Tigers of Nippon Professional Baseball, winning championships in 2003 and 2005 first as the team's closer and then as a reliable setup man. He pitched for the Tigers from 2003 until 2009 and signed with them as a scout in 2011 after his retirement from playing.

View Jeff Williams' career statistics from Baseball Reference