WATERVILLE — One more time, Joseph Jabar took the mound, reared back and fired a fastball toward home plate.

The pitch was a little low, but it reached its target.

Jabar was throwing the first pitch of a Waterville Cal Ripken game between Waterville and Messalonskee on Monday night at Purnell Wrigley Field. But a surprise came to Jabar, an associate justice on the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, right after the pitch.

Ken Walsh, CEO of the Alfond Youth Center, surprised Jabar — along with about a dozen family and friends — with a brand new monument, just beyond the foul territory on the first base side of the field.

A Colby College and University of Maine School of Law graduate, Jabar, 76, was appointed to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court by former Maine Gov. John Baldacci in 2009, and reappointed to the position in 2016. Before his time on the Maine Supreme Court, Jabar was appointed to the Maine Superior Court in 2001 by former Maine Governor — now United States Senator — Angus King in 2001. Jabar has served as a federal prosecutor for the Justice Department in Washington, D.C., served four years as District Attorney for Kennebec County and Somerset County. For 25 years, Jabar was a member of the law firm of Jabar, Batten Ringer and Murphy of Waterville.

But before any of his success in the court room, Jabar was a baseball man.


A Waterville High School, Jabar graduated from Colby in 1968, playing for legendary Maine baseball coach John Winkin, who is also honored with a monument, right near Jabar’s.

“Winkin coached me in American Legion, in high school,” Jabar said. “He had me on the inside track (for recruitment) up at Colby. We had some great teams at Colby.

“(Winkin) was very organized, super organized,” Jabar said. “The things you did repetitiously in practice, he would do over and over again. Covering situations defensively. He was super organized. He kept (the scoring book) himself.”

Jabar found success in the famed Cape Cod Baseball League, pitching for Yarmouth in 1965, as well as Chatham in 1966 and 1967. According to the CCBL, there about 350 active Major League Baseball players who once played on the Cape.

Jabar excelled in the CCBL, going 21-4 during his three seasons and won the league’s Most Outstanding Pitcher award in 1966 and 1967, leading Chatham to its first league title. His catcher that season? None other than the late, great Thurman Munson, who would go on to become a seven-time All-Star with the New York Yankees.

“I got to play with some great players,” Jabar said. “When (Munson) came (to Chatham), we were all like, ‘Who is Thurman Munson?’ He was my battery mate, and he was just fantastic… It was so much fun playing against talent like that.”


Jabar was inducted into the CCBL Hall of Fame in 2003.

“I threw hard, and harder,” said Jabar of his pitching repertoire. “That was it. I couldn’t throw a curveball, couldn’t take any (speed) off of it, I just couldn’t. I did throw a slider. That was my big out pitch.”

In 1969, Jabar signed with the Seattle Pilots (which relocated and became the Milwaukee Brewers in 1970). He was sent to the Single A Newark Co-Pilots of the New York Penn League. Jabar had a fine rookie season, going 10-4 with a 3.99 ERA for manager Earl Torgeson.

The next season, Jabar went to spring training, but realized his pro aspirations, at least that season, were not shooting upward.

“I figured I’d move up,” Jabar said. “(Torgeson) liked me. When I got to spring training, right off, I could tell (the team) was just going through the motions with me. I went to Torgeson and asked, ‘What’s going on?’ He told me, ‘Jeez, Joe, I did the best I could, but they’re not going to send you up. They’re going to send you back to (Single A).’”

Jabar, who was married, with a young son and attending law school at the time, was forced with a decision: Law, or baseball?


Jabar chose the law.

Over 50 years later, Jabar has no regrets about his decision, and rightly so, considering where his career took him.

“Things worked out great,” Jabar said. “I have no regrets with making it or not making it (in baseball). I’ve made so many friends and have had so much fun on the way. There’s no taking that back.”

But looking out over Purnell Wrigley Field, and his brand new monument, a smile comes over Jabar’s face. And he can’t help but look back.

“It just brings back so many memories of my whole life. It’s just unbelievable,” Jabar said.

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