Inductees Orville Nothdurft officiated high school and college basketball and football games for 50 years - or was it really longer than that?
"Actually I started my officiating career as a student at Chillicothe High School," he explains, "when I umpired some softball games at the grade school."
He started his official striped shirt career in 1935 and when he finally put aside his whistle in 1985 he had worked at least 5,000 high school and small college games.
It all started at Princeville in November of 1935 when he worked his first high school game for $1.00. Many times, in those early days, he worked alone for $5.00, this in the days when a center jump followed each basket. He worked football playoff games, and IHSA Basketball Tournaments for 38 years, being selected five times for the Sweet Sixteen. Nothdurft made a major impact in the Missouri Valley Conference. He was Bradley's faculty representative to the conference for many seasons and served as president of the conference. He was a voting representative to the NCAA and a member of the eligibility committee.
Orville was in education for 43 years - Woodruff High School teacher, Principal at Chillicothe, Director of Admissions at Illinois Wesleyan, and Dean of Admissions for 25 years at Bradley University, being a Past President and co-founder of the National Association of College Admissions.
He has served as President of the Peoria Officials Association, is a charter member of the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame committee, and a member of both the Bradley Sports Hall of Fame and the Illinois Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.
A quiet, affable person, his volunteer community activities include B'Nai Brith, Arthritis Foundation, Salvation Army, Goodwill, Bradley "B" Club, United Methodist Church Board, and 50 years with Camp Highlands for Boys in Northern Wisconsin. A Bradley University graduate, he played varsity tennis at the school, and is still active in the sport.
Orville Nothdurft officiated high school and college basketball and football games for 50 years - or was it really longer than that?
A two-sport star (baseball and basketball) at both Limestone High School and Illinois Central College, Thome went on to a legendary baseball career as one of the top sluggers in Major League Baseball history. A 13th-round selection by the Cleveland Indians in 1989, Thome made his MLB debut in 1991. After a 22-year career with Indians, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota Twins and Baltimore Orioles, Thome ranks seventh in Major League history with 612 home runs and 24th with 1,699 runs batted in, while boasting a .276 career batting average. He was a five-time All-Star and received Most Valuable Player votes in nine different seasons. Thome helped Cleveland to World Series appearances in both 1995 and 1997 and he hit 17 career postseason home runs. Thome led the American League in slugging in 2002 (.677) and the National League with 47 home runs in 2003 and he received a 1996 Silver Slugger Award. Thome also was the 2006 Americal League Comeback Player of the Year. Recognized for his integrity, sportsmanship and community involvement, Thome received the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award in 2001 and 2004, as well as the 2002 Roberto Clemente Award and the 2004 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award. The Cleveland organization dedicated a statue of Thome outside Progressive Field following his official retirement in 2014.