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)
Major League Debut May 30, 1998
James Eric Weaver was born August 4, 1973, in Springfield, Illinois. He attended Illiopolis High School where he excelled in athletics. In basketball, he averaged 35 points per game and 22 rebounds in his senior season. He was the quarterback of the Illiopolis Pirates and many feel he was the best all-around athlete in their high school history. He turned down a baseball scholarship from Bradley University and went to the minor leagues for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
He began his minor league career in Vero Beach, Florida at age 18 and after several seasons in the minor leagues, Weaver was called up and made his major league debut for the Dodgers on May 30, 1998. He pitched 3.1 innings in that game he replaced Hideki Nomo and allowed 3 hits, one walk, and one strikeout before giving way. Dmitri Young was his first struck of the game in the 5th inning. Also, in the 7th inning, Young hit a solo home run off of Weaver. Game Box Score Here.
In seven games during the 1998 season, he finished with a 2-0 record. On October 12, 1998, he was traded by the Los Angeles Dodgers to the Seattle Mariners for Scott Prouty (minors). He went 0-1 for Seattle in eight games and a high ERA. He signed with the Angels for the 2000 season. He was in 17 games and finished 0-2 with no saves. His last game in the major leagues came on August 17, 2000. He was granted his free agency after the season.
Weaver has left professional baseball and spent many years as the pitching coach for Lincoln Land College and then moved to coach his son and teammates at Auburn High School in pitching. Last known information has Eric Weaver working for the Bank of Springfield.