Inductees Leo Schrall, the highly successful Bradley baseball coach who led the Braves to two appearances in the College World Series, enjoyed one of the most varied baseball careers in Peoria's history.
A Notre Dame athlete, he played minor league baseball, and after his playing days were over he became a manager. He ran the Hiram Walker entry in the Sunday Morning League for a number of years and also was manager of the Peoria Redwings in the All American Girls Baseball League.
But it was at Bradley that he achieved national fame. His teams won 346 games while losing only 189 in 24 seasons, and after his retirement, he was named to the Hall of Fame of the National Collegiate Baseball Coaches Association.
Schrall first took Bradley to the College World Series at Omaha in 1950. The Braves lost their first two games that year to be eliminated, but he took them back in 1956 for a fourth place finish.
Bradley joined the Missouri Valley Conference in Schrall's first season. Under his direction, the Braves won four Valley titles outright and shared a fifth.
Leo Schrall, the highly successful Bradley baseball coach who led the Braves to two appearances in the College World Series, enjoyed one of the most varied baseball careers in Peoria's history.
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.