Inductees "Rudy" Rudolph, orginally from Springfield, was a teen-ager when she began her working career at Caterpillar in the Mid-1940's. She joined the famous Caterpillar Dieselettes softball team in 1947.
Rudy played through the 1964 season, culminating a 19-year career as a truly outstanding catcher; and as a Springfield native, was named Springfield's "outstanding girl athlete" of the 1947-57 decade.
Rudolph was co-captain of the Lettes from 1951 through 1962. She was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1961 West Central Regional Tournament, and was a member of the Manager's All-American team in 1950.
Although primarily a catcher, "Rudy" could also handle both short-stop and third base. Her top year was 1955 when she hit for .381. Her lifetime average was .285.
Rudolph was also inducted as a member of the Illinois Softball Hall of Fame. She was a member of the coaching staff of Illinois Central College's 1982 National Junior Championship team, a link with softball she still maintains.
"Rudy" Rudolph, orginally from Springfield, was a teen-ager when she began her working career at Caterpillar in the Mid-1940's. She joined the famous Caterpillar Dieselettes softball team in 1947.
The Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame is a not-for-profit corporation established in October 1979 to promote the varied sports programs in the area and honor Peoria area athletes and sports personalities. Since 1979 GPSHOF has honored many individuals and teams at annual banquets held at the Peoria Civic Center. Plaques for each inductee are on permanent display at the Peoria Civic Center.
With the exception of a part-time secretary and the member board are all unpaid volunteers. The modest costs (postage, supplies, etc.) and inductee awards are financed by individual donations and business advertisers and sponsors.
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The first official Board of Directors meeting was held on October 14, 1979. Officers were elected. Early decisions determined that the Hall of Famers would be from the Greater Peoria Area; the name would be The Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame; its purpose would be to promote and encourage the many varied sports programs in our area, to share with the area the pride we have in the accomplishments of area athletes, and to honor those men, women and teams contributing to our enjoyment and rich sports history.
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