Inductees Schmitt, a 5-foot-8 left-hander with a truly amazing arm, was almost untouchable in the three years he pitched for Manual High School.
Possessor of a blazing fast ball with great movement and a fine curve, Schmitt hit his prep peak in 1950 when he posted a 13-0 record on a Manual team that went 25-0, tossing a one-hitter and fanning 17 in the state championship game against LaGrange.
In his final prep season his statistics were astounding: 162 strikeouts, just 23 hits allowed, five runs allowed and only 25 walks in 80 innings.
Signed by the St. Louis Browns shortly after leaving high school (he later was property of the Baltimore Orioles after the move of the Browns east), he pitched seven seasons of minor league baseball.
Starting with Wichita Falls of the Class B Big State League in 1951, he pitched in the Three-I League, the Western League, the Texas League, the Pacific Coast League, the Sally League and the Eastern League.
After the 1957 season, he retired from pro ball and went into coaching, leading Limestone into a state tournament and also pitching for a dozen more seasons in the Sunday Morning League.
He is still on the faculty at Limestone High School and has been assistant baseball coach since suffering a stroke a few years ago.
Schmitt, a 5-foot-8 left-hander with a truly amazing arm, was almost untouchable in the three years he pitched for Manual High School.
|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.