Inductees THE 1945 GIPPS BREWERY FAST PITCH SOFTBALL TEAM, the ninth managed by the late Harold "Red" Koeppel and the second to play a major schedule, was one of the strongest teams ever formed during a time when the sport was huge in the Greater Peoria area.
The 1945 Brewers posted a 42-6 record, four of the losses coming against the famed Ft. Wayne Zollner Pistons and the other two in the Midwest Regional tournament. Never losing to an Illinois team, Gipps also defeated the Kentucky, Milwaukee, Indianapolis and St. Louis champions.
They won the Peoria District, the Central Illinois District, the Illinois State, were third in the Central States regional, first in the Greater Peoria league and first in the Greater Peoria tournament.
Playing in the Midwest regional in Indianapolis, the Brewers won a 26-inning game against Louisville, at the time an Amateur Softball Association record.
Veteran fastballer Bill Perry led the team with a 40-4 record; Roddy Thompson and Bill Manuel each hit .351 to lead the team, Ray Fisher scored 39 times and stole 17 bases and veteran catcher Bill Porter caught almost every inning.
The Brewers were strictly a local team with every member veteran Peoria players who attended school here. The team eventually founded the Independent Sports Club that has helped thousands of young girls and boys enjoy sports.
THE 1945 GIPPS BREWERY FAST PITCH SOFTBALL TEAM, the ninth managed by the late Harold "Red" Koeppel and the second to play a major schedule, was one of the strongest teams ever formed during a time when the sport was huge in the Greater Peoria area.
|Jerry & Elaine Reibling|
For four decades Jerry and Elaine have volunteered their time and effort to benefit the runners competing in events within the Tri-County. Just prior to Jerry’s induction into the Steamboat Classic Hall of Fame in 2015, the race’s co-founder, Steve Shostrom said, “Jerry and Elaine are treasures in the running community. They have made substantial, lasting contributions to the Steamboat Classic and the Illinois Valley Striders over the years. They have worked tirelessly at countless local races through heat, rain, ice, snow and wind to get quick, accurate results for runners of all ages and abilities." Jerry was involved with the Steamboat Classic for 35 years and Elaine has been a part of the Race for the Cure for about 30 years. Married over 50 years, the Rieblings helped pioneer the transformation from hand timing to computerized timing for the major running events in the Tri-County area. In addition to the Steamboat Classic and Race for the Cure, they have served at the following events over their decades of service: the IHSA State Cross Country Meet; Illinois Valley Striders events; countless high school invitationals including the Richard Spring Memorial Invitational (Peoria Notre Dame) and the Peoria High Invitational at Detweiler Park; and Bradley University and the University of Illinois cross country meets and invitationals. Jerry has also raised funds for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital by participating in the Memphis to Peoria Run and running the satellite event from Canton to Peoria. The dedication and passion of Jerry and Elaine for these events has enabled thousands of others to experience achievement and enjoyment while competing in running events.