Inductees This East Peoria native and Spalding ('82) graduate took the Irish to the 1982 state finals before obtaining an industrial engineering degree from Northwestern where he was an All-Big Ten catcher in 1985 and 1986. Drafted in the 5th round MLB draft by the Chicago Cubs, Joe turned a successful major league playing career into a managerial career, first as bench coach of the New York Yankees, and recently as manager of the Florida MarIin.
Joe's playing career spanned 15 seasons with the Cubs, Rockies, Yankees and Cards, winning World Series rings in '96, '98 and '99. He was selected to the N.L. All-Star team in 2000. He caught Dave Cone's "perfect game" in '99 and Dwight Gooden's nohitter in '96.
His career stats include a .267 batting average, 186 doubles, 26 triples, 36 homers, 454 runs scored and 422 RB's. He played in 1277 games, collecting 1100 hits. A superb handler of pitchers, his career fielding average was .991 bettered by only two major league catchers with 15 year careers in MLB history.
This East Peoria native and Spalding ('82) graduate took the Irish to the 1982 state finals before obtaining an industrial engineering degree from Northwestern where he was an All-Big Ten catcher in 1985 and 1986. Drafted in the 5th round MLB draft by the Chicago Cubs, Joe turned a successful major league playing career into a managerial career, first as bench coach of the New York Yankees, and recently as manager of the Florida MarIin.
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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