Sports

Lisch, Menke, Wiley and Obie among St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame inductees

Ken Oberkfell, who played at Collinsville High school and Belleville Area College, signed with the Cardinals as an undrafted free agent in 1975.
Ken Oberkfell, who played at Collinsville High school and Belleville Area College, signed with the Cardinals as an undrafted free agent in 1975.

Rusty Lisch, Rita Menke, Joe Wiley and 1982 World Series champion Ken Oberkfell highlight the 2018 class of inductees to the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame.

Those and 10 other metro-east stars will be part of the second Illinois-only induction class.

Tickets remain available for the enshrinement ceremony, which will be held at Gateway Classic Cars in O’Fallon on Feb. 1. Tickets are $90 each or $720 for a table of eight.

Cocktails and a buffet dinner will be served beginning at 6 p.m. The induction program, which begins at 7 p.m., follows a unique format. Instead of reading prepared speeches, the honorees are interviewed by members of St. Louis media.

Lisch was a basketball and football standout at Belleville West before moving on to become the starting quarterback at Notre Dame, ahead of Joe Montana. He spent five years in the NFL, four with the St. Louis Cardinals and one more with the Chicago Bears.

Menke won 613 games and three state softball championships as head coach of Belleville East Lancers.

Wiley long held the Illinois State Tournament scoring record for the great Belleville Township teams in the mid 1960s. The high school All-American graduated from Saint Louis University as the Billikens fourth all-time scorer and rebounder.

Oberkfell, a native and current resident of Maryville, batted .278 in 15 big-league seasons, most prominently with the St. Louis Cardinals. He was promoted to the major leagues as a second baseman, where he played 400 games, but started at third for Herzog’s 1982 championship team. He delivered the game-winning single in Game 2 of the NLCS against the Atlanta Braves.

Other inductees include:

▪  Nancy Scranton, of Centralia, 23-year veteran of the LPGA.

▪  Arthur “Flash” Johnson, of East St. Louis, Olympic boxer and North American and National Boxing Association champion.

▪  Joe Reiniger, of Collinsville, SIUE soccer star who scored 600 goals in National Professional Soccer League.

▪  Darrin Plab, of Mascoutah, a two-time NCAA champion in the high jump while at SIUC and a 1992 Olympian.

▪  Dick “Ducky” Schofield, of Springfield, spent 19 years in the big leagues with eight different teams and was a hero for the 1960 World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates.

▪  Dick Schofield, of Springfield, the son of the similarly-named fellow inductee and played 14 seasons in the big leagues with the Angels, Mets, Blue Jays and Dodgers. He was the first pick of the Angels in the 1981 draft, third overall.

▪  Larry Graham, of Edwardsville, holds wins record as head basketball coach at SIUE, St. Louis Community College and Madison High School, where he won two state championships.

Special Awards also will be presented. Those honorees include:

▪  Metro Legends Award: Dave Shannahan coached for years in the metro-east including stints at Belleville West, O’Fallon, Johnston City, Waterloo and Belleville Area College.

▪  President’s Choice Award: Longtime Belleville Hilgards American Legion baseball coach Barney Elser and original Hilgard member Cal Isselhardt will be honored with the President’s Award.

▪  Whitey Herzog Award: 1961 Collinsville Kahoks basketball team, which was the undefeated state champion.

The St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame is a non-for-profit organization dedicated to the recognition and preservation of the region’s athletic history and its greatest contributors both on and off the field of play. For more information, visit www.stlhof.com or “like” our page on Facebook.

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