2003 Springfield Sports Hall Inductees

Joe Bestudik
attended Springfield's Ridgley School and then Jacksonville Routt High School, where he played baseball, football and basketball. After playing American Legion baseball, he was signed by Springfield scout Jack Rossiter of the Cincinnati Reds in 1937 and played at Paducah of the Kitty League, where he batted .340 and had a record-setting three-homer, eight-RBI game. He also played at Waterloo in 1937, was in the Western League in 1938-39 and in 1940 he played in the Piedmont League. Playing second base, third base and shortstop, he batted over .300 every season but 1939. The Reds sold him to Indianapolis in 1941, and he batted .308 in 1941 and .328 in 1942. He was sold to Brooklyn after the '42 season but went into the United States Navy during World War II and played for base teams until his honorable discharge in 1946. That same year he was an American Association all-star. He is deceased. His wife, Mary Rudis Betsudik, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993.

Bruce Boyle
the son of Springfield Sports Hall of Famer Ted Boyle, is a Lanphier high School graduate (1955) who  coached Peoria Central to the 1977 Class AA State Basketball Tournament title, beating his old classmate Bob Nika in the title game. Boyle played football, basketball and baseball at Lanphier and baseball at Illinois State University. He was all-city and all-conference in baseball in 1953, 1954 and 1955, won the City Series batting title in 1953 and 1955 and finished second to John Homeier in 1954. He began his coaching career in 1959 at Bartonville Limestone, where he coached freshman football and basketball and was an assistant baseball coach for one year. He moved to Peoria Central and was freshman football and basketball coach and assistant baseball coach. In 1967 he became head baseball coach, and he became head basketball coach in 1972, running up a 153-38  record from 1972-79. His 1974 team placed third in the state tournament, and his 1977 team won the state title. Boyle-coached teams never had a losing season in any sport. He was named to the Illinois Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1990, and in 1977 he was named Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Class AA Coach of the Year.

Claude Kracik
coached the Lincoln Land Community College baseball team to 921 wins  over 33 years, including a pair of national championships. Kracik was named National Junior College Athletic Association Division II Coach of the Year both times the Loggers won the NJCAA Division II national championship - 1994 and 2000. The team also finished third in the national tournament in 1995 and fifth in 1993 and earned seven regional titles under Kracik. The Harvey native was named to the Junior College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002. Among the players he has coached are major leaguers Pat Perry, Mark Clark, Jeff Fassero and Joe Slusarski. He played baseball at Illinois State University. He also served as coach and general manager of the Springfield Rifles of the Central Illinois Collegiate League.

Paul Robinson
graduated from Feitshans in 1951 and was a two-time all-city basketball and baseball selection (1950 and 1951). He played baseball at Illinois State-Normal University from 1951-55 and helped ISNU to conference titles in 1954 and 1955, when he was an all-conference selection. In 1955 he was one of 25 players from across the United States picked to go on a three-month goodwill baseball tour to South Africa. In 1956-57, he went to the All-Navy Tournament in New Jersey on an all-star team that finished third. In 1957 Robinson signed with the Cleveland Indians and played winter ball in Colombia, South America, where his team won the winter league playoffs. In 1958 he played at Reading, Pa., of the Class A Eastern League and had a brief stint in the major leagues with the Cleveland Indians. He was picked to the Eastern League All-Star team that season. He went to spring training with the parent Cleveland Indians in 1959 but spent most of 1959 and 1960 between San Diego in the Class AAA Pacific Coast League and Nashville in the Class AA Southern Association. He was with San Diego when he retired in the middle of the 1961 season.  Robinson lives on a farm in Marion.

Marv Schultz
is a 1942 Feitshans graduate and four-sport letter-winner who earned all-state football honors as a senior. In football he was a fullback and guard on offense and a defensive guard who earned all-city and all-conference honors in addition to his all-state recognition in 1941. He was a member of Feitshans' Sweet 16 basketball team, a baseball outfielder and a shot putter on the track team. He got a football scholarship to the University of Illinois and was the leading tackler on the freshman team but left after one year to enter the military service during World War II. After the war he played football at Bradley University and is a member of the Bradley Hall of Fame (1953). After graduation in 1949 he returned to Feitshans as head football coach, and his 1952 team went undefeated. His overall record in 18 seasons was 65-63-5. He was athletic director at Feitshans and then Southeast High School from 1964-80, and in 1973 he was named Athletic Director of the Year.

George Veenstra
is a Chicago native who graduated from Morgan Park High School in 1961. He was stricken with polio and became disabled at the age of 5, but that didn't prohibit him from taking part in sports. He earned a teaching degree in mathematics from the University of Illinois in 1966  and came to Springfield to teach math at Washington Middle School in 1972. From 1962-71 he played intramural wheelchair football at Illinois and quarterbacked the Gold team to five championships. In 1964 he participated in swimming, archery (silver medal) and table tennis (bronze medal) at the National Wheelchair Games. The same year he was a member of the United States Paralympic team in archery and table tennis at Tokyo. He played point guard for the Champaign Urbana Black Knights wheelchair basketball team from 1967-71, and in 1970 he was National Tournament Most Valuable Player. When he came to Springfield he helped form the Springfield Spoke Jockeys and coached and played for the Spoke Jockeys until his retirement in 1989. He was a member of eight All-Midwest Conference teams, four all-sectional teams and two all-national tournament teams. He was an assistant coach for three USA international wheelchair  basketball teams that won gold medals at international competitions. He was inducted into the Wheelchair Hall of Fame in 1988.



THE 1973 QUALITY FURNITURE TEAM is the only city team to win the Amateur Softball Association Class AA State Fast-Pitch Tournament title. The team was sponsored and managed  by ASA Hall of Famer Pete Salvo, also a Friend of Sport in the Springfield Sports Hall of Fame, and some of the players included Hall of Famer Ducky Reed, Barry Freeman, Gary Fraase and Dave Sagle. Quality, which also finished third in the state tournament in 1972, beat Carbondale Murdale 5-1 on July 27, 1973, in the state title game as Fraase and Sagle each had two hits and John Maslouski blasted a two-run home run. Freeman picked up the pitching win with a three-hitter.



Jimmie Jones - graduated from Feitshans High School in 1951 after earning all-city honors in basketball in 1950 and 1951. He played basketball for three years at Illinois State University and was named to the school's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1972. The easygoing Jones earned a reputation as one of the state's top athletic officials. In basketball, he worked the 1979, 1980 and 1982 state finals, and he did the 1979 Class A title game and the 1982 Class AA championship game. He was a basketball official from 1963-91. He was a baseball umpire (1958-98) who worked each of the NCAA Division II World Series held in Springfield in addition to games in the Big Ten, Missouri and College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin. When Major League Baseball umpires went on strike in 1978, Jones worked 21 big league games in St. Louis, including working the plate in his second series against Houston. Jones was working when Lou Brock got his 3,000th hit. He began officiating football games in 1972 and, at 71, remains active. He's a member of the Bloomington Bowling Association Hall of Fame and the National Federation of Football Officials Hall of Fame.

Vince and Nadine Moore - have been affiliated with Cathedral, Griffin and Sacred Heart-Griffin high schools for more than 55 years. You name it, the Moores either do it, would be willing to do it or have done it in seven decades. That includes ticket taking and arranging for the communication lines from the press box to the sidelines at Memorial Stadium. It also includes Nadine's specialty of making doughnuts for the baseball team. Vince Moore is a 1941 Cathedral graduate.

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