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Wills, Newcombe to sub for Lasorda

Wills, Newcombe to sub for Lasorda

LOS ANGELES -- Legends Maury Wills and Don Newcombe will join scout Brian Stephenson as Dodgers representatives at the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.

Wills is a late replacement for Hall of Fame manager Tom Lasorda, who has announced the Dodgers' first selection ever since Logan White took over the Dodgers' Draft in 2002. This year, however, Lasorda has a scheduling conflict and will be speaking that day at Compton College.

The First-Year Player Draft follows at 11 a.m. PT, with a simulcast of ESPN2's broadcast of the first round and compensation picks. The remaining rounds on Day 1 will be shown exclusively on BaseballChannel.TV, with live analysis on site from MLB.com Draft guru Jonathan Mayo and David Rawnsley of Perfect Game USA.

Several of the top amateur prospects are expected to be in attendance for Day 1 of the Draft, and each of the 30 Major League clubs will be represented by front-office executives and baseball luminaries. Fans are welcome to attend Day 1 of the Draft, and admission to The Milk House is free, with seating limited to a first-come, first-served basis.

Day 2 will get under way at 8:30 a.m. PT and continue through Round 50, if necessary. Every pick on Day 2 can be heard live at MLB.com.

Wills is a special instructor in the Dodgers organization with an emphasis on baserunning and bunting. He spent 14 seasons in the Major Leagues after almost nine years in the Minor Leagues. He elevated the stolen base to an art form, earning a Most Valuable Player Award in 1962, when he stole 104 bases. He also was a seven-time All-Star and played in four World Series.

Newcombe has been the Dodgers' director of community relations for 39 years, but he will be prominent in the ceremonial draft of former Negro Leaguers, because he played with Jackie Robinson in the Negro Leagues and followed him into the Major Leagues with the Dodgers, winning the Most Valuable Player and Cy Young Awards in the same season (1956).

Stephenson is a third-generation scout who covers Southern California, Arizona and Utah. Brian's father, Jerry, is a scout for Boston and a former Dodgers pitcher. Brian's grandfather, Joe, was also a former Major League player and longtime Boston scout who signed All-Stars Rick Burleson, Dwight Evans, Bill Lee and Fred Lynn.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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