Inductees Marie Wadlow, the first woman elected to the National Softball Hall of Fame, was one of the most talented and fierce competitors to appear on the Greater Peoria sports scene.
Her softball pitching career started in 1929 in St. Louis and ended in 1950 with the Caterpillar Dieselettes. It was a truly amazing one.
Her all-time record was 341 wins against 51 losses and in her seven years with Caterpillar she won 103 games while losing just 18.
Chuck McCord, the long-time manager of the Dieselettes, called Wadlow "one of the greatest competitors I've seen anywhere."
One of her biggest thrills on the mound actually came in a game she lost. "We had a 17 inning 1-0 loss to the Phoenix Ramblers in 1950," she recalled many years ago. "That gave us third place in the national tournament at San Antonio."
Wadlow, who passed away in 1979, was elected to the National ASA Hall of Fame in 1957 and is also a member of the Illinois State Softball Hall of Fame and the St. Louis Hall of Fame.
Marie Wadlow, the first woman elected to the National Softball Hall of Fame, was one of the most talented and fierce competitors to appear on the Greater Peoria sports scene.
Jim Lewis served as Athletic Director, head football, golf, basketball, and baseball coach at Pekin Community High School during his career from 1933-1955. Jim received his BA from the University of Illinois and a masters from the University of Iowa. During his days at the University of Illinois he played football and basketball. Jim also served in the military. Jim Lewis started his coaching career at Pekin in 1933 with the baseball team. He compiled a record of 118-71-1 in eleven seasons under his direction. Lewis led Pekin to six regional titles in his seven seasons as basketball coach, including state trophies in 1947 (4th place) and 1948 (3rd place). Jim coached football for eleven seasons with a 71-30-1 record. The 1951 unbeaten Pekin football team was the first team in the history of the school to win ten games. The 1951 team was considered the mythical Number 1 team in the state. Pekin won both the Greater Peoria Illini Conference and the Big 12 Conference titles that year. Jim's golf teams excelled, winning a 3rd place (1948) and a 2nd place (1949) in the state tournament during his seven years as coach. Jim Lewis was one of the driving forces behind building Pekin Memorial Stadium. Jim was a member in three Halls of Fame, the Pekin High School Athletic Hall of Fame, Illinois High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame, and the IBCA Hall of Fame. Even by today's standards, Coach Lewis' coaching achievements are legendary.