Springfield Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors
Chris Leming, President

Kevin O'Dea, Vice President

Paul Wappel, Secretary

Joe Kulek, Treasurer
DIRECTORS

John P. Eck, Sr.
Phil Gonet
Becky Hendricks
Dr. Diane Hillard-Sembell
Greg Marantz
Greg Matthews
Tom Pape
David Reid
Jeff Rodier
Jim Ruppert
Lesa Schaive
Brad Wike



WEBMASTER
Doug O'Shea

HALL OF FAME CURATOR
Jeff Rodier

SELECTION COMMITTEE

Jim Ruppert, Chair
Otha Davis
Bob Engel
Dave Figuera
Kris Glintborg
Dave Kane
Teddy Lee
Lesa Schaive
Mark Scheffler
Tim Schweizer
Jim Zimmermann


FOUNDERS

John Schaive
Dick Schofield
Jim Ruppert
MASTER OF CEREMONIES JIM RUPPERT


Jim Ruppert is serving as master of ceremonies of the Springfield Sports Hall of Fame Banquet and Induction Ceremonies for the 24th year. Ruppert retired in 2016 after serving on the sports staff of The State Journal-Register for 40 years, the final 25 as sports editor. He remains involved in Springfield media, both as a columnist for Channel1450.com and as a talk show host and game analyst for WFMB 92.3 FM and  SportsRadio 1450 AM.

 

Ruppert is involved in several Springfield-area organizations. He serves on both the Board of Directors and Selection Committee for the Springfield Sports Hall of Fame. He’s a member of the Capital Area Sports Commission Board of Directors, the United States Basketball Writers Association and the National Collegiate Baseball Association. He was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2005, and in 2014 he served a stint as an adjunct professor at Benedictine University-Springfield.

 

Ruppert, a 1971 graduate of Lemont High School and a 1975 graduate of Bradley University, has two children, 37-year-old Brad and 34-year-old Chrissy as well as 6-year-old granddaughter Sophia.



 


HOW THE HALL OF FAME ALL STARTED

For the longest time, a sports Hall of Fame for Springfield was a great topic of conversation.
Guys like Robin Roberts, Al Barlick and Ray Ramsey had been honored nationally, but there was nothing in their hometown to pay tribute to their athletic accomplishments.

Then in the summer of 1990, the wheels were put in motion to put together what we now know as the Springfield Sports Hall of Fame. Through the efforts of two of Springfield's former Major League Baseball players, John Schaive and Dick Schofield, and two representatives from The State Journal-Register, sports editor Mike Chamness and sportswriter Jim Ruppert, a committee was formed to map out a plan for the establishment of the Hall of Fame.

Thanks to their tireless work and sports connections in the community,  Schaive and Schofield were able to put together a selection committee and a board of directors. The selection committee was formed to determine deserving Hall of Fame candidates, and the board of directors was formed to establish a foundation for the organization as well as a banquet to honor the Hall of Famers.

When Jack Howard, president of E.L. Schafer & Sons Inc. (later House of Brews Inc.) came on board, the Hall had a corporate sponsor and solid backing.

The first banquet, featuring 24 inductees, eight Friends of Sport and Baseball Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson as the featured speaker, was held Feb. 5, 1991, before a sellout crowd. Since then, the annual Hall of Fame banquet has become the largest sports gathering in Springfield with over 800 attendees each year.

 After a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19 restrictions we convened for the 30th Springfield Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in 2022.  We will never forget the efforts of those who were there from the very beginning, especially the patriarchs of the Springfield Sports Hall of Fame, John Schaive and Dick Schofield.

They wouldn't let a good idea fall by the wayside, and the community has benefited greatly.


 

2022 Banquet

 

1991 Inaugural HOF Inductees

Dick Schofield (L) and Al Urbanckas (R)

 

Sadly, Dick Schofield passed away on July 11, 2022.  May he Rest In Peace.

 

 

Photos from the 2022 Banquet courtesy of

 Springfield Scene Magazine

 

Sports Hall of Fame President Lesa Schaive, Annual Banquet Master of Ceremonies Jim Ruppert and Guest Speaker Al "The Mad Hungarian" Hrabosky

 

 

 

Photos of the Class of 2020 Inductees at the 2022 Banquet with Lesa Schaive and Al Hrabosky

 

Ellen Antonacci Bartletti

 

 

Catherine Gaffigan

 

 

Shelly Lehman Burke 

 

 

Lester Hampton

 

 

Dave Urish

 

 

Jim Jumper

 

 

Pete Stoll

 

 

 

1995 Springfield Thunder

from left to right: Al Hrabosky, Adam Feld, Todd Mitchell, Todd Schneller, Assistant Coach Elston Miller, Seth Von Behren, Coach Dennis Werth, Bryce Hager, Assistant Coach John Schneller, Craig Moreland, Jeff Hurie and Jay Crawford

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


VOLUNTEERS

 

(2013 Banquet)

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Volunteer4

 

(2012 Banquet)

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(2011 Banquet)

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