Born in Springfield- Johnny Schaive- Springfield Sports Hall of Fame Charter Member

Born in Springfield- Johnny Schaive- Springfield Sports Hall of Fame Charter Member

Central Illinois has had many major league baseball players in history. Let’s look at them from the 12 counties that we have selected to become Central Illinois. (Logan, McLean, DeWitt, Woodford, Fulton, Peoria, Mason, Tazewell, Cass, Morgan, Menard, Sangamon)

Check out all of the biographies HERE.


FIRST- I did not write this article as it is from the State Journal Register in Springfield upon the death of local sports hero Johnny Schaive. I thought it told everything that needed to be said.


John Schaive, one of the founding fathers of the Springfield Sports Hall of Fame and a charter member in 1991, died Monday. He was 75.

Schaive was hospitalized Monday morning and died about 1 p.m. because of a brain hemorrhage, his wife, Lesa Schaive, said in an e-mail.

John Schaive, a Lanphier High School graduate, signed with the Chicago White Sox in 1952, was released and later caught on with the Washington Senators organization. He was a minor league terror, and in 1955, he led a Class D league in four offensive categories. The next season he was in spring training with the big club.

But he spent two seasons in military service, and when he got back to baseball, he contended he wasn’t the player he once had been.

“I was a third of the ballplayer when I got to the big leagues,” Schaive said in a 1991 interview.

Nevertheless, Schaive spent five seasons in the big leagues, from 1958-60 with the original Senators (who became the Minnesota Twins in 1961) and from 1962-63 with the expansion Washington Senators.

His best major league season came in 1962 when he played 82 games and batted .253 with six home runs and 29 runs batted in. For his major league career, Schaive batted .232 in 114 games.

But there was more sitting than playing. That’s why at one point in his career, Schaive went to Senators manager Mickey Vernon and made an unusual request: He wanted to go back to the minors, where he could swing the bat.

“I was a utility player in the big leagues,” Schaive said in 1991. “I wanted to play. The guys all got a big kick out of that.”

Playing mostly in the days when there were eight teams in the American League and eight teams in the National League, Schaive spent 12 seasons in the minor leagues. He was a career .291 hitter in more than 1,100 minor league games. He hit .293 on the Class AA level and .282 in five Triple-A seasons.

Schaive even did some pitching. He was 2-3 in 13 appearances as a 20-year-old for Decatur of the Mississippi-Ohio League in 1954. Then in 1963 with York of the Class AA Eastern League, he was 2-1 in eight appearances.

Playing baseball was Schaive’s passion. He grew up a New York Yankees fan on Springfield’s north end, but his favorite player was Ted Williams. He made his big league debut in 1958 as a 24-year-old infielder at Boston’s historic Fenway Park.

“I was awed,” he said. “My first game was in Fenway Park against the Red Sox. Ted Williams was my idol. And I still remember walking into Yankee Stadium for the first time.”

Eventually, injuries caught up with Schaive, who ended his career in 1966 as a player-manager in Monterrey, Mexico. He hurt his knee, dislocated his elbow and suffered other injuries. It never lessened his love for the game.

“The highlight for me was getting up every day knowing I was a ballplayer, to have the opportunity to play every day,” Schaive said.

When his playing days were over, Schaive came back to Springfield, where he helped raise his family. He coached the Springfield Caps of the Central Illinois Collegiate League in the 1970s and was the coach when Sangamon State University fielded a baseball team.

Although he never officially worked as a scout for any professional organization, Schaive served as an area scout for his many friends in baseball. He played a role in getting professional baseball contracts for local players such as Roger Erickson (Twins), Mike Mathiot (Twins), Jerry Fry (Expos), Dan Callahan (Padres), Myron Hunter (Cubs), Loren White (Expos) and Bill Lamkey (Twins).

Sam Dailey- Born in Oakford

Samuel Dailey- Born in Oakford


Born March 31, 1904, in Oakford, Illinois, Samuel Dailey had a short major league career. He made his debut for the Philadelphia Phillies on July 4, 1929, in Game 2 of a doubleheader in Brooklyn. He allowed one hit but went unscored on in that game. He took his first loss on July 13th as the starter of the game in which he had 8IP/13H/8ER in the game at home facing Pittsburgh.

On August 26th he got his first career win in relief and followed that with another win on August 31st. His last game came on October 5, 1929, in which he hurled one inning and allowed 3 hits and 3 runs. In his career, he was 2-2 with a 7.54 ERA in 20 games. He started 4 games and threw 51.1 innings in the major leagues.


He died on December 2, 1979 (aged 75) in Columbia, Missouri and is buried at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Paris, Missouri.


Central Illinois has had many major league baseball players in history. Let’s look at them from the 12 counties that we have selected to become Central Illinois. (Logan, McLean, DeWitt, Woodford, Fulton, Peoria, Mason, Tazewell, Cass, Morgan, Menard, Sangamon)

Born in Peoria- Norwood Gibson- Teamed with Cy Young in 1903 World Series

Born in Peoria- Norwood Gibson- Teamed with Cy Young in 1903 World Series

NEXT: June 24, 2019, Sam Dailey born in Oakford, Illinois


Norwood Ringold Gibson was born on March 11, 1877, in Peoria, Illinois to Nathaniel and Josephine Kuhn Gibson. His father worked for the City of Peoria as a surveyor and was a civil engineer. Both parents migrated to Illinois from Pennsylvania after marriage as Nathaniel was 16 years older than Josephine. Norwood was the middle child of five with Earl and Leigh born before him and Herschel and Louisa as younger siblings. He attended Greeley School for his first eight years of education in Peoria and then attended Notre Dame Prep School. He went to college in South Bend, Indiana at Nore Dame University and received a degree in chemistry,

He began playing baseball in earnest at Notre Dame as a pitcher. “Gibby”. as he was called, was a 5′ 10″ 165 lbs. at best. He led the Fighting Irish to the national championship in 1900 with an 8-1 record. It is from there he was signed by the Cincinnati Reds to play professionally. He played in several minor league contests (some called them exhibition games) during his first summer and was later released in August. He signed on to play for the Kansas City Blues from August 19 to September 7 where he was 2-4 in 62 innings.

In 1902, he signed across town to hurl for the Kansas City Blue Stockings who was managed by Kid Nichols (who would later become a big-time manager and future Hall of Famer). He got the needed notice as he threw two no-hitters. Nichols recommended him to the major league and he signed a contract for $3000.

He made his major league debut on April 29, 1903, while a member of the Boston Beaneaters. He was part of the pitching rotation that included Cy Young, Long Tom Hughs, Bill Dineen, George Winter, and Nick Altrock. In his rookie year, he sported a 13-9 record and a 3.19 ERA with 76 strikeouts. Boston went on to win the World Series but the manager only started three pitchers and Gibson did not play but received a ring. In 1904, he won 17 games in 270 innings and a healthy 2. ERA. He pitched with arm issues in 1905 and 1906 and was medically forced to retire with his last game on May 18, 1906.

Looking at his career numbers finds Gibson posted a 34–32 record with 258 strikeouts and a 2.93 ERA in 85 appearances, including 72 starts, 56 complete games, three shutouts, 12 games finished, and 609.0 innings of work.

After baseball, he took a job as a chemist for the Curtiss Candy Company in Peoria. It is there that the Baby Ruth candy bar appeared in 1921. Later, he moved back home to Peoria and became a desk clerk for the New National Hotel. In 1940, at age 63, when he married Mildred Platt. She died seven years later.

He died at age 82 in Peoria, Illinois on July 7, 1989, and is buried in Springdale Cemetery.



Central Illinois has had many major league baseball players in history. Let’s look at them from the 12 counties that we have selected to become Central Illinois. (Logan, McLean, DeWitt, Woodford, Fulton, Peoria, Mason, Tazewell, Cass, Morgan, Menard, Sangamon).

Other biographies:

Allyn Stout (Peoria)                  Carl Vandagrift (Cantrall)                Dick Reichle (Lincoln)    Eric Weaver (Springfield)

Allan Simpson (Springfield)   Emmett Seery (Princeville)              Billy Rogell (Springfield) Harry Staley (Jacksonville)

Fred Beck (Havana)                  George Radbourn (Bloomington)  Daniel Dugdale (Peoria)











Baseball Rules 1857

Baseball Rules 1857

This article was NOT written by me but is from John Thorn who is the Official Baseball Historian for Major League Baseball. Check out his website called OUR GAME





The New York Clipper, first published in 1853, did not offer an illustration of baseball until 1857; until then, and for another decade, the game for the sporting set was cricket. These instructions for how novices might become “proficients” in the new game of baseball appeared in the Clipper of December 13, 1856, a few months before the thoroughgoing revision of the rules in the convention of February 1857.

The game of Base Ball is generally considered the national game amongst Americans, and right well does it deserve that appellation; not only for the healthful exercise with which it is connected, but also for the skill that is required in playing it, which has been made still more necessary by the latest rules and improvements that are now in vogue, causing it to rank, and, we think, very properly, among those games usually termed scientifically. Base Ball can be played by any number from five upwards; nine, however, is the usual number on each side. When there are five on a side, the fieldsmen are placed on the bases or goals, according to the diagram below, directions for the laying out of which are given in the rules, also appended. After tossing for the choice of innings, the party who has the choice send, through their general or leader, one of their number to the Home Base, №6. The Pitcher then pitches the ball to him, which, if he thinks he can, he strikes as far into the field as possible; be then runs as fast as he is able to Base №3. A second striker is then sent to the Home Base, who serves the ball the same as his predecessor, when the one that struck first runs from Base 3 to Base 4, whilst he (the present striker) runs to Base 3; another striker is then sent in, and so on until all the batsmen have taken their turn, when the one who struck first commences again.

As each one returns to the Home Base, after having been all around, namely, to Bases 3, 4, 5 and 6, one count is added to the score, and whichever side makes 21 of these counts with the least number of hands, or strikers, out, wins the game.

The duty of the fieldsman is when a ball is struck to run after it, and, if possible, to reach the base to which the striker is running, before him, so that he may be able to touch any part of his (the striker’s) person before he has arrived at, or whilst he is off, the base; or, if the ball is struck in the air, he should endeavor to catch it at the first bound or before it touches the ground; in either case, the batsman or striker would be out. When three strikers are put out by any of these means, the whole side is out; they then exchange places with their opponents, each taking an innings alternately until the number of counts (21) necessary to complete the game is made. The duty of the Pitcher is to pitch the ball to the striker, and also to pick up the ball when struck, if nearest to him; and, in fact, to perform the same duties in all respects like the other fieldsmen. We think that these instructions, in connection with the following rules and diagram, will enable those who wish to learn the game, to do so; until, by practice, they become proficients; when that desirable end is accomplished, we have no doubt but they will continue to follow it, both for exercise and amusement.

Rule 1. The bases shall be from Home to second base 42 paces; and from first to third base 42 paces, equidistant; and from Home to pitcher not less than 15 paces; i.e. 21 paces from the center of the field to each base.

2. The game to consist of 21 counts or aces, but at the conclusion, an equal number of hands must be played.

3. The ball must be pitched, not thrown for the bat

4. A ball knocked outside the range of the first or third base is foul. (Range from Home, i.e., the ball must be knocked down the field and not sideways. The striker’s stand is at the Home Base.)

5. Three balls being struck at and missed, and the last one caught, is a hand out; if not caught, it is considered fair, and the striker bound to run. Tips and foul balls do not count.

6. A ball being struck or tipped, and caught either flying or on the first bound, is a handout.

By September 19, 1857 baseball was featured on the cover, even if the Clipper’s masthead had not yet changed to reflect America’s new favored sport
7. A player must make his first base after striking a fair ball, but should the ball be in the hands of an adversary on the first base before the runner reaches that base, it is a hand out; the ball must be fairly in hand, and the base touched.

8. Players must make the bases in their order of striking, and when a fair ball is struck and the striker is not put out, the first base must be vacant, as well as the next base or bases, if similarly occupied. Players must be put out under these circumstances in the same manner as when running to the first base.

9. A player shall be out if at any time when off a base he shall be touched by the ball in the hands of an adversary. The ball must be held after the man is touched; if the ball drops it is not a handout.

10. A player who shall intentionally prevent an adversary from catching or getting a ball is a handout.

11. If two hands are already out, a player running home at the time a ball is struck cannot make an ace if the striker is caught out.

12. Three hands out, all out,

13. Players must take their strike in regular rotation, and after the first round is played, the turn commences at the player who stands on the list next to the one who lost the third hand.

14. No ace or base can be made on a foul strike.

15. A runner cannot be put out in making one base when a balk [1856 typo fixed — jt] is made by the pitcher.

16. But one base allowed if the ball when struck bounds out of the field.

17. The ball shall weigh from 5–1/2 to 6 ounces, and be from 2–3/4 to 3–1/4 inches in diameter.

There is an Umpire appointed to keep the game and to decide all disputes and differences relative to the game, from whose decision there is no appeal. (In case the Umpire cannot decide, all plays should be considered fair for the hand in; the opinion of the players on a doubtful play should never be asked.)



Born in Jacksonville- Harry Staley

Born in Jacksonville- Harry Staley

Central Illinois has had many major league baseball players in history. Let’s look at them from the 12 counties that we have selected to become Central Illinois. (Logan, McLean, DeWitt, Woodford, Fulton, Peoria, Mason, Tazewell, Cass, Morgan, Menard, Sangamon)

Allyn Stout (Peoria)

Allan Simpson (Springfield)

Fred Beck (Havana)

Carl Vandagrift (Cantrall)

Emmitt Seery (Princeville)

George Radbourn (Bloomington)


Harry Staley

Major League Debut June 23, 1888


Harry Eli Staley was born on November 3, 1866, in Jacksonville, Illinois and went on to become a major league baseball player. He made his debut on June 23, 1888, with the Pittsburgh Alleghenys. His first few years, he started slow. In 1889, he led the league in pitching losses with a 21-26 record and led with 30 wild pitches.

He went on to play for the Pittsburgh Pirates and later the Boston Beaneaters where he had good success. In his last year in baseball, He played for the St. Louis Browns in 1895. His last game was on June 30, 1895. He finished with a career record of 136 wins and 119 losses along with a 3.89 ERA. He was a known strikeout pitcher an finished with 746.

His one real claim to fame came on June 1, 1893, when he drove in nine runs batted in off his bat, a record for most RBIs in a game by a pitcher that stood for over 70 years until equaled by Atlanta Braves pitcher Tony Cloninger in 1966.

Staley died on January 12, 1910, in Battle Creek, MI.



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