Inductees LEGENDARY Manual baseball coach Ed Stonebock, who won his first state high school title with his unbeaten 1950 team, won No. 2 in 1965 with a team that started the season with 14 straight wins before bowing.
Led by outstanding pitcher and hitter Al Smith, who went on to an outstanding Bradley and professional basketball career, Manual moved into the state finals with a 19-3 record and then whipped Chicago Lane Tech 3-0, Decatur MacArthur 9-I and Arlington Heights St. Viator 4-2 to win its state title.
Smith pitched Game 1, a 12-inning affair; Tom Casidy hurled the Rams to their semi-final win and Tim Marks, who had pitched just 17 innings all season, halted St. Viator in the title game on just three hits. The three held the opposition to an .098 bat mark.
Smith was the tournament's most valuable player and with Marks made the all-tourney team. Smith, Marks, Cassidy and Bob Nelson won all-conference honors.
For the season Smith led the team in home runs (3), RBls (23), hits (33) and runs (28). He hit .493 and was 8-1 on the mound. Marks batted .438 with 21 RBIs and 8 triples. Jim Anderson hit .360; Nelson, later to coach the Rams, batted .347 with nine doubles; and Larry Davis had 20 RBIs with six triples.
ON THE ROAD TO STATE
Spring. Lanphier 3
Chi. Lane Tech 0
Dec. MacArthur 1
St. Viator 2
LEGENDARY Manual baseball coach Ed Stonebock, who won his first state high school title with his unbeaten 1950 team, won No. 2 in 1965 with a team that started the season with 14 straight wins before bowing.
As a man devoted to sports, Mick Donahue contributed an essential (and sometimes underappreciated) service to organized sports in Peoria for decades. His passion for athletics began as a youth as a participant in the Salvation Army Junior League Tournament and Proctor Center Basketball League. At Peoria Manual High School in the early 50’s, he played on the baseball team. After graduating from Manual, he was a player/manager on the LeTourneau-Westinghouse team in the old Industrial League, which was one of the nation’s top amateur sports organizations at the time.
Mick spent much of his life coaching, organizing and officiating youth sports in the area, especially baseball, softball, basketball and volleyball. He volunteered as a coach from 1957-72 for the St. Boniface Mustangs. Additionally he coached numerous Little League and Pony League teams.
Over the next several decades, he volunteered thousands of hours organizing and administering officials for various league play in the community. Beginning in 1972, he supervised adult softball and basketball leagues for the Peoria Park District. He also scheduled officials/umpires for the area’s catholic grade schools as well as many basketball, baseball, and softball games for the Peoria Public Schools. In his over 30 years with the Peoria Park District, Mick trained, assigned, and supervised officials for adult softball games for leagues at Peoria Stadium and Sterling school. He organized a force of volunteer basketball officials for the Prairie State Games.
Even after his passing in 2011, his legacy in sports continued to have a positive impact for a charitable cause. As a tribute and acknowledgement of his decades of dedication to local softball leagues, a Mick Donahue Memorial Tournament was held in August of 2013, on the park district diamonds near Peoria Stadium. Many teams participated and many others, including umpires, volunteered their services. Proceeds from the successful event were donated to the PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease) Foundation, a disease being fought by his granddaughter. Concurrent with the tournament, a park bench was dedicated near the large diamond near Peoria Stadium. The small plaque affixed to the bench, reads, “In Memory of Mick Donahue for his dedication to softball and the Peoria Park District.”