Inductees Kenneth Jones served as Sports Editor of the Peoria Journal Star for over four decades and in the process played a major role in shaping athletics in Central Illinois.
A lifelong journalist, he covered the local and national sports scene for 45 years and was presented the Neve Harms Meritorious Award by the Ad Club for his outstanding contribution to the betterment of athletics in Central Illinois.
A Bradley trackman, he began his writing career in Des Moines but joined the staff of the old Peoria Star in 1920 and became sports editor of the Peoria Journal Transcript in 1924.
Under his direction, such major local sporting events as the men's and women's city golf tournaments began, and for years he directed a Golden Gloves tournament that ranked with the largest in the Midwest. He was elected President of the Golden Gloves of America in 1950. He also originated the first of the junior baseball leagues in 1925, and those leagues continued for 25 years before being taken over by the Peoria Park Board.
Over the years, he covered many national sporting events and was on hand when Bradley began its move into big-time collegiate basketball in the mid 1930's under coach A. J. Robertson. Jones retired Jan. 1, 1965.
Kenneth Jones served as Sports Editor of the Peoria Journal Star for over four decades and in the process played a major role in shaping athletics in Central Illinois.
Bud Ruff, a U.S. Navy veteran, retired in 1990 after 43 years as an electrician and electrical contractor. The last 26 years he was co-owner of Bud Ruff Electric with his wife Dorothy. Since his retirement, he has been a dynamo in the world of volunteerism, especially in those areas pertaining to young people. Recent youth-oriented activities include the newly lighted Woodruff Park Baseball Field, the Pioneer Homestead program for youth at Sommer Park, the Park District Youth Baseball Advisory Committee, the Tri-County Sports Board, Bradley Chiefs Club and the Old Timers Baseball Association.