The 2011 Induction Day ceremonies for the Bottomley-Ruffing-Schalk Baseball Museum were a success.
Springfield natives Ryan O’Malley and Dick Schofield, Jr. were the honorees in attendance at the November 5 meal and ceremony at the Nokomis Memorial Park House. Also inducted, but unable to attend, were Jeff Fassero and Tim Hulett of Springfield, along with long-time St. Louis Cardinals player, manager and coach Albert “Red” Schoendienst.
About 100 people were in attendance at the event, which was emceed by WSMI Sports Director Terry Todt. He was welcomed by museum director Steve Johnson. After the invocation by Fr. Dan Willenborg, all in attendance enjoyed a meal catered by Milanos Catering of Hillsboro.
Following the meal, Todt introduced current honorees that were in attendance, including Jim Staff, Roe Skidmore and Ish Smith. After recognizing Hulett and Schoendienst, Todt then introduced the parents of Jeff Fassero, Joe and Karen. They accepted the certificate noting Jeff's induction as Jeff was unable to attend the event.
Schofield spoke for a few moments, thanking the museum for the recognition, saying it is nice to be remembered. O'Malley followed and also spoke briefly about his experiences as a major league and minor league player.
After the ceremony, the museum was open for visitors to examine the collections. The museum was also open prior to the ceremony. The first visitor was museum co-founder Joe Kempe, who had some assistance in making the trip from a nursing care facility in Shelbyville. The 93-year-old Kempe was excited to see how the museum has grown since he and Merle "Butter" Wright started the museum in a Nokomis restaurant window back in 1981. Induction Day 2011 was a special one in BRS Museum history. Thanks to all who participated in any way.
Click here for a photo gallery of the event.