Inductees When fast pitch softball was a major sport in Peoria, there was perhaps no more talented pitcher than William "Big Bill" Perry.
A large righthander who towered over many of his teammates, Perry was a dominating force in Peoria fast pitch softball between 1942 and 1952, compiling records that seemed almost unbelievable.
Playing mainly for the famed Gipps Brewers, but also in later years, for LeTourneau and Caterpillar, Perry perhaps hit his zenith in 1945 when Gipps went through a 42-6 season and fought its way into the Midwest regional of the Amateur Softball Association.
In that historic season Perry posted a 40-4 record. he allowed just 19 earned runs, produced 24 shutouts, had three perfect games including two in a row, pitched nine one-hit games, and averaged 14 strikeouts a game.
In 332 innings he allowed just 39 runs, 117 hits, whiffed 452 batters, and walked just 43.
Later, pitching for the LeTourneau Welders, Perry went 9-0 to hurl his team to the championship of the Peoria Triple A league.
When Caterpillar joined the National Softball League in 1947, Perry was part of its pitching staff and continued to burn his fast ball past some of the nation's top teams.
He passed away in 1972 at the age of 54, the same year he was inducted into the state ASA Hall of Fame.
When fast pitch softball was a major sport in Peoria, there was perhaps no more talented pitcher than William "Big Bill" Perry.
Larry Leitner was among the state's elite officials for more than 40 years, officiating high school, college and professional sporting events from 1960 through 2003 and he remains involved in sports by serving on the board of directors for the Pekin Insurance Holiday Tournament, as well as evaluating current officials and moderating IHSA rules clinics.
Among his officiating highlights, Leitner worked more IHSA basketball and football tournament games than any official in the state's history, earning 27 consecutive boys basketball regional assignments. He also worked the IHSA boys basketball state finals in 1973, 1974 and 1976, including the 1976 championship game, and three IHSA football finals, including the first-ever 2A state championship game in 1974. A charter member of the Gateway Conference officiating crew in 1988, Leitner was part of the crew that officiated the 1990 and 1993 NCAA Division I-AA quarterfinals and he served as an associate official for the Big Ten Conference from 1984-88.
Leitner also was called upon to officiate two IESA state championship games, the 1990 National Catholic Basketball finals, three Shriner All-Star football games and the 1980 IBCA All-Star Classic, while also working for two seasons in the Midwest Professional Football League.
Leitner is a member of the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association, Peoria Officials and Bloomington/Normal Officials Halls of Fame.