Inductees Even in an era when Manual High School was known for its winning baseball teams, the 1950 Manual Baseball team stands out as one of the most powerful high school athletic squads in Peoria. The 1950 team won every game it played, winning the first of three state titles for Coach Eddie Stonebock.
Coming into the state tournament with a 22-0 record, the team won rather easily, defeating Bloomington 7-4, and Elgin 13-0. In the title game against LaGrange, Manual pitcher Bobby Schmitt tossed a brilliant game for one hit, 17 strikeouts, and a 6-0 win. Schmitt was 13-0 for the season, allowing only 23 hits in 80 innings, and fanning 162 batters. Dick Diekhoff led the team in hitting at .393 and pitcher Frank Hutt was 5-0 on the mound.
Other players on the 1950 squad were Elmo Petty, Bob Peake, Jim England, Jerry Meyers, Dick Echard, Jack Cullen, Frank Walraven, Dick Fahnestock, Bud Cassens, Gene Wailer, Lou Alcaraz, Earl Higgins, Bill Ricca, Neal Cook, Jerry Burk and Jack Closen.
Even in an era when Manual High School was known for its winning baseball teams, the 1950 Manual Baseball team stands out as one of the most powerful high school athletic squads in Peoria. The 1950 team won every game it played, winning the first of three state titles for Coach Eddie Stonebock.
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.