Inductees "Rudy" Rudolph, orginally from Springfield, was a teen-ager when she began her working career at Caterpillar in the Mid-1940's. She joined the famous Caterpillar Dieselettes softball team in 1947.
Rudy played through the 1964 season, culminating a 19-year career as a truly outstanding catcher; and as a Springfield native, was named Springfield's "outstanding girl athlete" of the 1947-57 decade.
Rudolph was co-captain of the Lettes from 1951 through 1962. She was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1961 West Central Regional Tournament, and was a member of the Manager's All-American team in 1950.
Although primarily a catcher, "Rudy" could also handle both short-stop and third base. Her top year was 1955 when she hit for .381. Her lifetime average was .285.
Rudolph was also inducted as a member of the Illinois Softball Hall of Fame. She was a member of the coaching staff of Illinois Central College's 1982 National Junior Championship team, a link with softball she still maintains.
"Rudy" Rudolph, orginally from Springfield, was a teen-ager when she began her working career at Caterpillar in the Mid-1940's. She joined the famous Caterpillar Dieselettes softball team in 1947.
Howard Maple was one of the most amazing athletes ever to come out of Peoria. A football, basketball and baseball standout at Central High School, he went on to become a brilliant quarterback at Oregon State in the late 1920s and later played in both the National Football League and in major league baseball with the Washington Senators.