Inductees Dozens of professional baseball and hockey players have moved through Peoria on the way to big league status, but none have been part of the local athletic scene like Doug Evans.
For a dozen of his 17 professional hockey seasons Evans has played all or part of a season for the Peoria Rivermen. In all, that adds up to 691 regular season and playoff games for the Rivermen, probably more games played for a local team than anyone else achieved in our sports history.
A native of Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, he scored 809 points for the Rivermen in his career, including 279 goals. He holds the franchise records for games played, seasons played and goals scored.
He was the International Hockey League Rookie of the Year on Peoria's Turner Cup title team of the 1984-85 season, a team that has been named to the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame. He is a charter member of the Rivermen Hall of Fame and made numerous All-Star teams in both the IHL and the East Coast Hockey League.
His No. 9 jersey has been retired by the Rivermen.
He played 377 National Hockey League games with Winnipeg, St. Louis and Philadelphia.
Dozens of professional baseball and hockey players have moved through Peoria on the way to big league status, but none have been part of the local athletic scene like Doug Evans.
|1985 Outstanding Tri-County Sports Figure|
After long years of promoting and supporting sports projects and activities in the Peoria area, Pete Vonachen took on a leadership role in late 1983 as owner of the Peoria Chiefs, Class A professional baseball team. He returned pro baseball to Peoria in a most successful way. Under his direction Meinen Baseball Field was completely modernized to create comfort for the fans. An electronic scoreboard was installed, and adequate parking was provided. He made fun at the ballpark a reality.