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)
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.