Former Delta resident Jim Ward died Jan. 7, 2018. He was 78.
He was born April 2, 1939, to Charles Ward and Stella Tessman in Pasadena, Calif. He attended Pasadena High School and Pasadena Junior College. While playing baseball for Pasadena Junior College, he was offered a full athletic scholarship with the University of Arizona in Tucson. While there, he pitched in the College World Series in 1958, 1959 and 1960. He graduated cum laude in 1960 with a degree in business administration.
After graduation, he signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, where he played for 18 years. The last nine years he served as the batting practice pitcher. He also served in the U.S. Army Reserves.
After his baseball days, he owned and operated a printing business in Los Angeles and then moved to Clyde, Texas, and raised Limousin cattle. In 2001, he and his wife moved to Delta where he designed and built a straw bale house, drove a school bus and coached students from local high schools.
In 2014, he returned to Abilene, Texas, and was inducted into the University of Arizona Hall of Fame that same year.
His passion was baseball and he coached young athletes up to the time of his death. He attended Zion Lutheran Church in Abilene, Texas.
He is survived by his wife, Anne Ward of Abilene; children, Darin Ward of Dallas, Texas, and Shannon (Dave) Zink of Alaska; stepchildren, Zachary (Carly) Jackson of Abilene, Texas, and Joshua Jackson of Lake Leon; and 11 grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by one brother; one sister; and his first wife, Nancy Ward.