Lesa Schaive, President
Becky Hendricks, Vice President
Chris Leming, Secretary
Joe Kulek, Treasurer
John P. Eck, Sr.
Becky Lober Hendricks
Dr. Diane Hillard-Sembel
HALL OF FAME CURATOR
Jim Ruppert, Co-Chair
Dick Schofield, Co-Chair
MASTER OF CEREMONIES JIM RUPPERT
Jim Ruppert is a 38-year veteran of Springfield media, both as a member of the sports staff at the State Journal-Register and SportsRadio 1450.
The 1975 Bradley University graduate began his professional career as managing editor of the Metamora Herald, a weekly paper out of Peoria. He was hired by The State Journal-Register in June of 1976, and on May 1, 1991, he was named sports editor.
Ruppert 60, is a native of Lemont, Ill., in suburban Chicago.
During his time at The State Journal-Register, Ruppert has covered four Final Four college basketball tournaments, two World Series, numerous NFL, playoff games, the 1990 All-Star Baseball Game at Wrigley Field and the 2003 All-Star Game at U.S. Cellular Field, hundreds of college basketball games, six National League Championship Series, 30 state cross country and track meets and each of the state baseball tournaments held in Springfield.
After numerous guest spots on various sports radio call-in shows in and around Springfield, Ruppert joined the Sports Radio 1450 family in May of 1994 when he became the host of "The Sportswriters On The Radio." In, 2005, he became host of the Friday edition of "The Press Box." Ruppert also serves as color analyst for all Sports Radio 1450 high school basketball and football broadcasts.
Ruppert also 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 he 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 began a stint as an adjunct professor at Benedictine University-Springfield.
Ruppert has two children, 28-year-old Brad and 25-year-old Chrissy.
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.
And now as we convene for the 19th annual Springfield Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, 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.
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