Inductees Marie Wadlow, the first woman elected to the National Softball Hall of Fame, was one of the most talented and fierce competitors to appear on the Greater Peoria sports scene.
Her softball pitching career started in 1929 in St. Louis and ended in 1950 with the Caterpillar Dieselettes. It was a truly amazing one.
Her all-time record was 341 wins against 51 losses and in her seven years with Caterpillar she won 103 games while losing just 18.
Chuck McCord, the long-time manager of the Dieselettes, called Wadlow "one of the greatest competitors I've seen anywhere."
One of her biggest thrills on the mound actually came in a game she lost. "We had a 17 inning 1-0 loss to the Phoenix Ramblers in 1950," she recalled many years ago. "That gave us third place in the national tournament at San Antonio."
Wadlow, who passed away in 1979, was elected to the National ASA Hall of Fame in 1957 and is also a member of the Illinois State Softball Hall of Fame and the St. Louis Hall of Fame.
Marie Wadlow, the first woman elected to the National Softball Hall of Fame, was one of the most talented and fierce competitors to appear on the Greater Peoria sports scene.
Waddell has played a prominent role in the advancement of women’s athletics as an athlete, coach and administrator. A 1978 inductee into the Illinois State University Athletics Hall of Fame, Waddell earned 16 varsity letters at ISU, playing basketball, field hockey, softball and volleyball for the Redbirds. After graduation, Waddell continued to compete by playing women’s major fast pitch softball for the Pekin Lettes from 1958-63. She also was a member of the Central Illinois Field Hockey Association and the Midwest Field Hockey Team, earning selection to the second EAM All-National Tournament. She also continued her basketball career as a starter for the Peoria/Pekin Independent AAU Basketball Team that won several Illinois AAU state tournaments and competed in national AAU events. Waddell served as site director for the IHSA state softball tournament in Pekin for 25 years and she was the originator and co-director of the Pekin Lassie League softball program, which is credited with providing youth sports opportunities for girls before high school programs gained varsity status in the 1970s.