Inductees When men's fast pitch softball was a major part of the Peoria sport scene, Ray Fisher was one of the very best. For 14 years he played the game and his educated bat and great speed afoot made him a vital part of his team.
A versatile performer who played the outfield, second base and caught, Fisher played with the two teams that were renowned powerhouses in the 1942-52 era, Gipps and Caterpillar.
As a teenager he played with Farrow Chix and Lyceum Stag, then joined Gipps in 1943 and played with the Brewers for three seasons including the 1945 team that finished 42-6.
He was with Farrow Chix in 1946 and joined Caterpillar in 1947 for a six-year stint, playing with the Diesels when they were part of the Western Division of the National Softball League that included such teams as the Aurora Sealmasters, the Ft. Wayne Zollner Pistons, Dow Chemical and Kenosha and Racine, Wisconsin.
Retiring after the 1952 season, he turned to the game to manage Al's Radio of Peoria to a state championship in 1954.
When the Illinois Amateur Softball Association founded its Hall of Fame in 1971, Ray Fisher was included in the inaugural class of inductees.
When men's fast pitch softball was a major part of the Peoria sport scene, Ray Fisher was one of the very best. For 14 years he played the game and his educated bat and great speed afoot made him a vital part of his team.
A 1974 Bradley University graduate and longtime financial consultant for MassMutual Financial Group, Paul Herzog has served as the public address "Voice of the Braves" for nearly 600 Bradley men's basketball games for the past 39 seasons, including every game the Braves have played at Carver Arena and Renaissance Coliseum. In addition to his volunteer service for Bradley, Herzog has served as the volunteer public address announcer for every game the Peoria Civic Center has hosted in the IHSA Boys Basketball State Tournament during its 20-year run in the River City.
While "PA" Paul is well-known for his role with Bradley Basketball and the IHSA, his community service extends far beyond Carver Arena. A Braves Club Board of Directors member for 20 years and a past president (1992-94) of the organization, Herzog also served as president of the Central Illinois Bradley Alumni Chapter (1983-85) and the Bradley University National Alumni Association (1990-91). He also has began emceeing the IHSA State Cross Country Championships awards ceremony in 1996.
Closer to his home in Germantown Hills, Herzog has coached in youth baseball and basketball house leagues and from 2006-13 he was a member of the Germantown Hills Athletic Association Board of Directors. He served as a committe co-chair in the effort to acquire land for the expansion of youth sports in Germantown Hills, which led to the addition of 20 acres to school district property. Herzog also brought a little of the Bradley Basketball experience to the Germantown Hills Grade School Boys Basketball program by serving as the public address announcer from 2008-12.
Herzog is the recipient of numerous service awards, including the Bradley Varsity Club Billy Stone Service Award, the Bradley University Lydia Moss Bradley Award, the IHSA March Madness Volunteer of the Year and the IHSA Distinguished Service Award. He was inducted into the Bradley Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011.