1995 Springfield Sports Hall of Fame Inductees


Virden native coached baseball at Lanphier, and among those he coached were Robin Roberts, Don Erickson and John Schaive, who all eventually played in the major leagues. His baseball teams had 17 consecutive winning seasons, and his 1941 team was the first city team to play in the state baseball tournament. His son, Bruce, coached Peoria Central High School to the 1977 Class AA State Tournament basketball title.


A Springfield High School (1963) and University of Minnesota graduate. She placed 14th in the 3,000 meter speedskating event at the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France. A stomach ailment kept her from competing in the 1,500 meters at the '68 Games. "This girl is the most determined skater I have ever met," Olympic Coach Art Smith said in 1968. She currently lives in Terrey Hills, Australia and took up cross country skiing, winning the Australian championship five years in a row. She remains active in skiing and equestrian events as well as biking and hiking. An English major in college, she still writes books and novels. In 1993, she and family spent 10 days hiking in Tasmania, and in 1994 they spent eight days hiking Mount Everest. Her brother, RonDorgan, formerly played for the Springfield Kings.


Lanphier High School graduate (1943) and former three-sport standout who earned nine varsity letters during his high school as a football quarterback, basketball point guard and baseball jack-of-all-trades. He received Lanphier's athletic award in football, basketball and baseball as a senior. In basketball, he spent 12 years playing on the Amateur Athletic Union Level as well as in the Springfield Muni League, and teams he played on won 10 local championships. The 1951 One Day Cleaners team he played on won the state title and played in the national AAU tournament in Denver, and the 1952 One Day Cleaners team finished second in the state and advanced to the national AAU tourney. He signed with the Boston Red Sox and played two years of Class A baseball. Later he spent 13 years in the Muni League playing catcher and shortstop, and he was a member of two state championship teams, the 1947 Springfield Merchants and the 1957 Sangamo Electric team. He also played on teams that won seven local championships. He also played nine years of AAU fast-pitch softball, spent 27 years as a manager and official in Little League, Pony League, Colt League and Connie Mack League baseball. His 1972 Colt League All-Star team placed second in the nation. He officiated high school and small college football for 30 years, basketball for 27 years and baseball for 32 years, including 12 years in the Central Illinois College League.


Attended SHS for three years before graduating from Todd School for Boys in Chicago. As a 16-year-old he played in the All-State Boys Baseball Game in Chicago featuring some of the top youth players in the country. He played basketball (one season), football (two seasons on the 150-pound team) and baseball (four years) at the University of Illinois. As a senior he was the No. 1 pitcher on the U of I staff, compiling a 5-2 record with 60 strikeouts in 69.2 innings, earning second-team All-Big Ten honors. He signed with the Chicago Cubs in 1950 and spent three years in the Cubs farm system, going 30-13. he coached basketball at Springfield High from 1954-65, serving as head coach from 1962-65.


Griffin High School graduate (1984). named Ivy League player of the year his senior year at Yale (1987, when he was team captain). He left yale with virtually every (11) passing records in school history, including; total career offense (4,217); total season offense (2,120): career passing yards (4,309) and season passing yards (2,110): biggest passing game was 426 yards against Army, also a school record. At Griffin he led team to second place in Class 4A state playoffs in 1982, when he completed 86 of 164. Griffin was 7-0 in regular-season games he started and 10-1 overall that year in games he started: in 1983, he completed 128 of 216 (59.3 percent) for 2,122 yards. He appeared in 21 games for Griffin and set a then city record of 3,286 yards passing (later eclipsed by Bart Geiser, who appeared in several more games). Griffin was 15-1 in regular-season games started by Ryan, 18-3 overall in games in which he appeared. As a high school senior, he completed 19 of 25 passes for 343 yards against Edwardsville in a game in which he exited midway through the third quarter.


Griffin High School graduate (1972), who played football, basketball and baseball and ran track. Football was his best sport, though, and as a senior he rushed for 1,047 yards, 10th-best in city football history. He had a 232-yard game against Decatur Eisenhower that season, at the time the top rushing performance in city history but now the fourth-best ever. As a junior Zanot rushed for 222 yards - seventh-best in city history - against Decatur Eisenhower. He ranks No. 8 all-time in city history with 1,651 rushing yards, and when he graduated he was No. 2 on the all-time list. He played collegiately at Notre Dame - Zanot was the first city player to receive a scholarship from Notre Dame since Paul Reynolds in 1951 - and made the varsity as a defensive back during his freshman season. He lettered and rreturned punts as a sophomore, missed his junior season due to a knee injury and then played in one game as a senior.



1959 SPRINGFIELD HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Coached by Hall of Famer Ray Page and led by Hall of Famer Tom Cole, the Senators beat Aurora west 60-52 on March 21, 1959, to capture the state title. Cole scored 26 points in the title game while George Mathis had 19 and Charles Shauger had 10. The Senators won their third state title and first since 1935 with a 33-1 record. SHS beat Macomb 73-39 in the supersectional, beat Peoria Central 60-53 in the quarterfinals and Waukegan 64-40 in the semifinals.




Vic Antonacci - Lanphier High School graduate (1955) who played basketball with such greats like Bob Nika and Ivan Jackson and baseball for Hall of Fame Coach Ted Boyle. He sponsored Muny A basketball teams (Lincoln Cab) from 1956-75, winning 17 state and /or regional titles. After his baseball playing career ended in 1975, he began his career as a Khoury League coach. Along the way he coached eventual professional players like Joe Slusarski, Phil Wiese, Jeff Borski and Todd Blakeman. He served as a sponsor and coach of the Lincoln Cab team in the Southwest Sandy Koufax League in 1978, and that team won the Illinois State Southern Division state tournament. In 1981, his teams won state title in both the Sandy Koufax and Mickey Mantle Leagues, In 1982, he sponsored Koufax, Mantle and Connie Mack league team, and in both 1983-84 he sponsored Pee Wee Reese, Mantle, Mack and Koufax league teams. In 1985, he added a Stan Musial League team to the list of teams he sponsored. And his 1988 team won the Khoury League Senior Division national championship.

Tom England

Tom England - Lanphier High School graduate (1948) who lettered in basketball for three years and baseball for two years. During a stint in United State Army (1952-54) he coached and played basketball, softball and baseball teams. He played on the One Day Cleaners basketball team that won a pair of city and state titles. he coaches at Riverton Grade School and Jefferson Junior High School, but his biggest claim to fame came as an official. He officiated three boys state tournament finals, six supersectionals, seven sectionals, nine regionals and six districts between 1955-78. As a baseball umpire from 1956-70, he worked the Connie Mack World Series and in the Central Illinois Collegiate league. He was a football official from 1956-70, and he also coached all levels of boys baseball and girls softball.

Ott and Mary Lou Hesson - Springfield residents who have been actively involved in youth baeball for nearly 40 years. Sons Ron, Ken, Don and Steve all played in the Cy Young Little League, and Ott and Mary Lou were involved all the way. Ott has served as District III administrator for all of area Little League baseball, and he continues to serve as assistant district administrator today. In 1962-63, Ott was Cy Young secretary; he was president in 1964, 1965, 1984 and 1985. In 1990 he was elected vice president of the Challenger Division designed for physically handicapped players. Mary Lou was secretary from 1982-84, on the board of directors in 1985, player agent from 1986-88 and president in 1989. She authored a book that covers Cy Young Little League history from 1954-88, and for the past 11 years she has served as a volunteer for scouting.

Bill Masica - Native of Stebnik, Czechoslovakia, he came to the United States in 1952 and moved to Springfield in 1956. He's a former physical therapist at the Springfield YMCA who still serves as a trainer for the Sangamon State University soccer team and also offers volunteer assistance to injured recreational athletes in Springfield. Masica has been involved with the Springfield YMCA for 40 years. He has been a member of the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness since 1976, is a past president of Toastmasters International and currently president of Intercivic Community Clubs Council. Has served as physical therapist and physical fitness instructor for six governors - Bill Stratton, Otto Kerner, Richard Oglivie, Dan Walker, Jim Thompson and Jim Edgar.


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