Inductees THE MANUAL HIGH SCHOOL football Rams, coached by former Bradley lineman Ken Hinrichs since 1953, started one of the most successful runs in local sports history with the 1958 season.
The Rams swept through a 10-game schedule unbeaten, outscoring its foes 263-63 in the process. The team blanked its first five foes: Galesburg, East Peoria, Decatur Eisenhower, Limestone and Pekin; and had but two narrow wins, 20-13 over Spalding and 13-6 over Richwoods.
Running back Frank Whitman, the Mid-State 8 scoring leader with 86 points, was selected to the Champaign News-Gazette and Chicago Daily News all-state teams. He was also named captain of the Rams and the most valuable back while guard Robert "Buck" Smith was named the most valuable lineman.
All-conference honors went to Whitman, Smith, end Doug Faulkner, tackle Walt Slaughter, quarterback Art Schilling, center Leon Robinson and guard Jim Rathbun.
THE 1958 SEASON
Manual 26, Galesburg 0
Manual 20, Spalding 13
Manual 31, East Peoria 0
Manual 13, Richwoods 6
Manual 27, Decatur Eisenhower 0
Manual 32, Springfield Lanphier 12
Manual 27, Limestone 0
Manual 47, Central 19
Manual 13, Pekin 0
THE MANUAL HIGH SCHOOL football Rams, coached by former Bradley lineman Ken Hinrichs since 1953, started one of the most successful runs in local sports history with the 1958 season.
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.