Inductees Wayne Wiebler has lived an extraordinary life. From an early age, he was interested in motorcycles and in 1951, at the age of 14, he went to work for the local Harley-Davidson dealership he now owns. Also interested in racing, Wayne was a mere 16 when he entered his first motorcycle race. It was a learning experience and learn he did!
During the 1959 racing season, Wiebler won 19 races, including the National Amateur title of the American Motorcycle Association. It was - and is - the only time a Peorian has ever won an individual motorcycle racing title. Besides his 19 victories, he placed 2nd ten times and 3rd three times to amass an incredible 131 national points. He also won the June TT race at the Peoria Motorcycle Club's 1/2 mile track.
When Wayne retired from racing, he became Race Director for the Peoria Club and held that title for ten years. He now sponsors racing teams and organizes motorcycle events for such charities as `Ride for the Cure," "St Jude Ride for Pride," "Toys for Tots Poker Run" and "MDA Ride to Camp." While exact dollar amounts raised are not known, estimates put the figure at well over one million dollars.
Wayne Wiebler has lived an extraordinary life. From an early age, he was interested in motorcycles and in 1951, at the age of 14, he went to work for the local Harley-Davidson dealership he now owns. Also interested in racing, Wayne was a mere 16 when he entered his first motorcycle race. It was a learning experience and learn he did!
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.