NeveHarms Lew Williams, a former standout Bradley and semi-pro baseball player who has served for 40 years as secretary-statistician of the Sunday Morning League, has won the 1984 Neve Harms Meritorious Service to Sports Award of the Peoria Ad Club.
Williams will receive his award at the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame induction banquet set for Feb. 16 at the Continental Regency Hotel. The award is given annually to a Tri-County sports figure who has toiled for many years at a particular task without compensation.
He has serviced the league for 54 years as player, manager and officer, putting in countless hours supervising the league's scorekeeping and keeping complete batting and pitching records of every player throughout the season.
He also handles all advance publicity for the league and is the league's contact man for all local media.
Williams is a physical science technician at the Northern Regional Research Center.
Lew Williams, a former standout Bradley and semi-pro baseball player who has served for 40 years as secretary-statistician of the Sunday Morning League, has won the 1984 Neve Harms Meritorious Service to Sports Award of the Peoria Ad Club.
A two-sport star (baseball and basketball) at both Limestone High School and Illinois Central College, Thome went on to a legendary baseball career as one of the top sluggers in Major League Baseball history. A 13th-round selection by the Cleveland Indians in 1989, Thome made his MLB debut in 1991. After a 22-year career with Indians, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota Twins and Baltimore Orioles, Thome ranks seventh in Major League history with 612 home runs and 24th with 1,699 runs batted in, while boasting a .276 career batting average. He was a five-time All-Star and received Most Valuable Player votes in nine different seasons. Thome helped Cleveland to World Series appearances in both 1995 and 1997 and he hit 17 career postseason home runs. Thome led the American League in slugging in 2002 (.677) and the National League with 47 home runs in 2003 and he received a 1996 Silver Slugger Award. Thome also was the 2006 Americal League Comeback Player of the Year. Recognized for his integrity, sportsmanship and community involvement, Thome received the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award in 2001 and 2004, as well as the 2002 Roberto Clemente Award and the 2004 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award. The Cleveland organization dedicated a statue of Thome outside Progressive Field following his official retirement in 2014.