Inductees THE MOST SUCCESSFUL BRADLEY BASEBALL TEAM in the school's long diamond history, the 1948 team that was the 25th and last team coached by the late A. J. Robertson, simply did not want to quit playing.
In a season that saw them win their final 23 games, the Braves, who produced a 30-5 season for an all-time best winning percentage of .857, scheduled several games with out-of-state semi-pro teams after the collegiate portion of their season was over and kept on winning.
During the historic season Bradley whipped such teams as Alabama, Wisconsin, Loyola of New Orleans, Iowa, Notre Dame, Creighton, Drake, Louisiana Tech and St. Louis U.
Four pitchers won all 30 of the games: Harmon Groover finished 7-0; Ed Zilm was 9-1; Don Shelton, former Peoria Central star athlete, was 7-2, and lefty Bill Manker was also 7-2.
At the plate, the Braves batted .297 as a team and hit 21 home runs. Don Ashley, also from Peoria Central, hit .365; Jim Robertson of Central, who would later play big league baseball with the Philadelphia and Kansas City A's, .330; Guy Ricci, .322; Harry Wilcoxen, .315; Adolph Friedrich, .297; Tony Behrens, .282; and Gene Melchiorre, .279.
THE MOST SUCCESSFUL BRADLEY BASEBALL TEAM in the school's long diamond history, the 1948 team that was the 25th and last team coached by the late A. J. Robertson, simply did not want to quit playing.
Chuck Buescher was one of the most successful coaches in the Tri-County area. He graduated from East Peoria High School. Chuck was a three-year, two sport letterman as a student at Bradley University, playing both baseball and basketball from 1963 through 1967.