Inductees No one has had a bigger impact on Peoria area soccer than Joe Spies. An "Ethnic Team Sport" prior to the Depression, soccer did not re-surface in Peoria until the 50's. And Joe has been a part of the Peoria Soccer story ever since then.
Joe came to Peoria direct from Bavaria at the age of 16. He started playing sqccer here immediately. The big, extremely friendly and very muscular Bavarian, eventually became a star with the Peoria Blues, the outstanding team sponsored by the Sport Verein of the German-American Society.
Such was his skill at the "striker" position, that he was recruited to play in both St. Louis and Chicago, playing for the Chicago Schwaben team when it was the U.S. Cup Champion. In their heyday, the Blues were members of the strong Chicago-based National Soccer League, and Spies was one of the league's outstanding performers, a prolific scorer who ranked with the best in the Midwest.
Spies coached Bradley's club soccer team some years ago and at one time was player-coach of the Blues. He later played with the Peoria Kickers of the Central Illinois Soccer League. He also coached teams in almost all age groups, attracting many players to the sport with his capability and friendly attitude.
Today, over 2000 boys and girls are a part of the local soccer scene. Soccer fields are in abundance for the sport that everyone can play.
And Joe Spies has been a part of it all with his inspiration and dedication.
No one has had a bigger impact on Peoria area soccer than Joe Spies. An "Ethnic Team Sport" prior to the Depression, soccer did not re-surface in Peoria until the 50's. And Joe has been a part of the Peoria Soccer story ever since then.
|W.D. "Darby" O'Brien|
This native Peorian was born September 1, 1863. He played baseball for New York in 1887 when he hit .301 in 127 games. An outfielder, he was traded to Brooklyn where he played the 1888 through 1892 seasons, compiling 805 hits and 394 RBIs to go with a .282 career batting average.