Inductees THE MOST SUCCESSFUL BRADLEY BASEBALL TEAM in the school's long diamond history, the 1948 team that was the 25th and last team coached by the late A. J. Robertson, simply did not want to quit playing.
In a season that saw them win their final 23 games, the Braves, who produced a 30-5 season for an all-time best winning percentage of .857, scheduled several games with out-of-state semi-pro teams after the collegiate portion of their season was over and kept on winning.
During the historic season Bradley whipped such teams as Alabama, Wisconsin, Loyola of New Orleans, Iowa, Notre Dame, Creighton, Drake, Louisiana Tech and St. Louis U.
Four pitchers won all 30 of the games: Harmon Groover finished 7-0; Ed Zilm was 9-1; Don Shelton, former Peoria Central star athlete, was 7-2, and lefty Bill Manker was also 7-2.
At the plate, the Braves batted .297 as a team and hit 21 home runs. Don Ashley, also from Peoria Central, hit .365; Jim Robertson of Central, who would later play big league baseball with the Philadelphia and Kansas City A's, .330; Guy Ricci, .322; Harry Wilcoxen, .315; Adolph Friedrich, .297; Tony Behrens, .282; and Gene Melchiorre, .279.
THE MOST SUCCESSFUL BRADLEY BASEBALL TEAM in the school's long diamond history, the 1948 team that was the 25th and last team coached by the late A. J. Robertson, simply did not want to quit playing.
|1987 Outstanding Tri-County Sports Figure|
Mike Dunne, an outstanding baseball pitcher with Limestone High School and Bradley University, made his major league debut this past June. In his first game he was on the mound for the Pittsburgh Pirates and gave a good account of himself against the Mets All-Star Dwight Gooden. He then went on to finish with a 13-6 record and an ERA of 3.03, second in the National League to Nolan Ryan. Mike was named Rookie Pitcher of the Year by the Sporting News and was runner-up to San Diego catcher Benito Santiago as National League Rookie of the Year. He had a great day against his former ball club, the St. Louis Cardinals, beating them 3-1 on a 4-hitter, and then later repeated his control over the Cardinals by a 1-0 victory.