Monday, July 12, 2010

7/13-Maury Wills, Dave Fleming

The memory of Maury Wills achieving his 104th stolen base for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1962 evokes images of an athlete extraordinaire. This outstanding achievement is only one in a long list of accomplishments that give insight into a man who is both an important athlete and a true sports personality.

On September 23, 1962 Wills broke Ty Cobb's record of 97 stolen bases in one year. At the time, it was almost inconceivable that the century mark could be broken, but that's exactly what Wills did. By season's end with his record 104 stolen bases, Wills set a new major league record. Wills went on to lead the National League in stolen bases for six straight seasons, from 1960-1965, and has a lifetime total of 585 stolen bases. Wills was also a major force on the winning L.A. Dodger team for 14 years and helped lead the Dodgers to three World Series victories in 1959 (his first year wearing the Dodger cap), 1963, and 1965. In addition, he also guided the Dodgers to a National League pennant victory in 1966. 

David W. Fleming, an attorney with Latham & Watkins, was the instigator of the successful charter reform movement in the City of Los Angeles. In 1997, he and then LA Mayor Richard Riordan co-chaired a voters' initiative to reform LA City government, culminating in creation of an elected citizens' Charter Reform Commission that drafted a new charter adopted by voters in 1999. He currently serves on the board of the Southern California Metropolitan Water District, covering all of Southern California, representing the City of Los Angeles.  In 2003 he was appointed by President George W. Bush as a trustee of the James Madison Foundation, which bestows scholarships on high school teachers to promote teaching the founding of our nation. In 2005, he was appointed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to represent the city of Los Angeles as a director of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority (the “MTA”).   Fleming chaired the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce in 2007 and in 2008 and was the creator and founding chair of the Los Angeles County Business Federation (BizFed), an organization of 72 chambers of commerce and trade groups with well over 100,000 business members, employing 2 million workers throughout LA County. In 2009, he, along with former California Governor Pete Wilson, served as co-chairs of the Southern California Leadership Council.  In 2005-07, he served as the Chairman of the California Regional Leadership Foundation, a statewide organization of civic entrepreneurs addressing regional problems. He is the current Chair of L.A. Project Grad, an intensive K-12 educational program helping minority public school students achieve excellence.

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