NeveHarms About the Neve Harms Award
The Neve Harms Award for Meritorious Service to Sports was established in 1966.
Neve was director of Proctor Recreation Center. He knew the need for all youths to participate in sports activities, not just the few who excelled. He therefore adopted a firm policy that assured all youths would have an opportunity to play in various sports activities.
Neve was a 4-sport player at Manual High and a member of the 1929 Manual High State basketball champions.
His tradition was carried on by former winners Tony Van Dyke, Paul Reatherford, and many others who made sure all participated, boys and girls.
In the last number of years, many teams were formed, in basketball, football, soccer, hockey, but that also required sponsorship from various organizations throughout the Peoria area. Such a group is the Independent Sports Club of Peoria (ISC), a current member of the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame. It was established in 1945 with its goal to help kids in the greater Peoria area.
Our winner this year is Cliff Coddington a man who has belonged to this club for 50 years, serving as past president, board member, and many activities chairman, but by far his most important achievement is that of being treasurer this past 16 years. He took the ISC through a very troubled era to where today it is financially sound, while contributing thousands of dollars to our youth and fulfilling Neve Harms' dream that as long as men like Cliff Coddington are alive, that dream will last forever.
About the Neve Harms Award
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.