When he was 19 years old, in an era when managers of semi-pro baseball teams were often grizzled and gruff veterans, Harold Lintz managed the E. N. Woodruff team in the Sunday Morning League.
But that wasn't even the beginning, and was very far from the end. For over 50 years, Peoria baseball was a vital part of his life, and certainly he belongs in the front row of those select few in our town who should be called "Mr. Baseball."
You name the level of baseball in Peoria, and Harold Lintz has been a part of it.
He played at both Spalding and Bradley (he's in the Bradley athletic Hall of Fame). When he was just 16, he managed the Woodruff team in a junior league.
In 1928, he won the Peoria City Championship with his young team, then the regional, and finished second in the state tournament played at Wrigley Field.
He served on the Peoria Park District baseball committee and on the Illinois High School state baseball tournament committee.
At a time when the Sunday Morning League was thriving, drawing big crowds each Sabbath, he was a player, manager and league officer for a half-century.
And the list goes on...
He played a major role in developing Little League baseball in Peoria in 1951. He was on the board of directors of the Peoria Chiefs of the Three-I League from 1953 until pro ball left town in 1957. Later, he served on Mayor Dick Carver's committee to bring professional baseball back to Peoria.
Fittingly, he has received the Neve Harms Meritorious Service to Sports Award. This award goes to unselfish people who have given great amounts of their time without compensation to a sport they love.