Peoria County, Illinois Genealogy Trails

Caterpillar Sports



The Caterpillar Women's Basketball Team





Back, from left: N. Humphry, E. Houser, "Red" Miller (coach), Sid Eslinger, D. Harris.

Front, from left: Irene Applegreen, Helen Khecvuck, Rosa Fisher, Ruth Messer, Frances Morelock









    Miss Lucille Eslinger, only daughter of Mrs. A. L. Hulet, is still going places in the sport of softball, according to the Peoria, Ill., Journal-Transcript.

    Miss Eslinger, who is employed in the literature department of the Caterpillar Tractor Co. at Peoria, Ill., and who pitches for the firm's softball club which plays under the banner of Dieselettes, pitched a shutout game last week which won the club the state women's crown for the third year in a row.  Miss Eslinger, in top form, hurled the 1 to 0 score in a thrilling game which decided the championship by a run in the second frame.

    Lucille is well known in softball circles throughout this section of the state, pitching many outstanding games during which time she was attending Albany high school.  She was graduated here with the class of '40.

    She has been in the employ of the Carterpillar [sic] Co. for nearly a year.  She has hurled nine wins in ten games this season.

[newspaper clipping from the collection of Sid Eslinger, courtesy of Steve Slaughter]







The Dieselettes know they will have to hustle and play bang-up ball every minute of the 1948 season to surpass or

match the outstanding record made by last year's girls' softball team.  Several newcomers have joined the veterans

who a year ago helped win 32 of 38 games besides nabbing their eight straight state title and the Mid-West Regional

championship.  The team was off to an auspicious start, winning four straight, but then dropped its next two.  Team members are,

seated left to right, Lucille Eslinger, Eleanor Rudolph, Irene Kerwin, Helen Hillig, Barbara Fuller, Carolyn Thome and, standing,

Manager Chuck McCord, Marie Wadlow, Norma Notzke, Mary Moak, Margaret Bazsocki, Marcella Litwiler and Eulalia Smith.

[newspaper clipping from the collection of Sid Eslinger, courtesy of Steve Slaughter]









    Caterpillar games at spacious Tom Connor field -- home of the Caterpillar Diesels, Dieselettes, and Tractors -- will be open to the general public this year, it was announced today by Athletic Manager Marvin Hamilton.  Some 150 games are on tap for baseball and softball fans this year and some of the finest teams in the country will oppose Caterpillar teams during the season.

    Stationary bleachers have been erected to accommodate 4,000 fans comfortably and 240,000 watts of light provide one of the best parks for night ball in the middle-west.

    The Tractors, managed Harris Berleman, will have a 50 game schedule this year, 21 of which are in the Sunday Morning League.  Walter White, the Diesel skipper, and his team will play 56 games in the National Softball League, and Coach "Chuck" McCord and his State Chamption Dieselettes will play approximately 50 games.

    The new Tom Connor Field, which was officially dedicated to the memory of the late Caterpillar Vice President, Tom Connor, was built with the express purpose of providing entertainment for Caterpillar employees and their families only.  However, due to the increased interest of Peoria fans in the recent entry of the Diesels in teh National Softball Loop and the Tractors in the Central Illinois Baseball league, it has been decided to throw the gates open to baseball and softball fans in the Peoria area, as guests of the Caterpillar Employees' Activities assocation.

[from the Peoria Journal, Thursday, 27 May 1948.  Newspaper clipping from the collection of Sid Eslinger, courtesy of Steve Slaughter]








    A weekend launching the most ambitious baseball and softball program in the already colorful history of the Caterpillar Tractor Company's three major teams will get under way at 8 Saturday night, May 15th, at the Brilliantly lighted Tom Connor field, when opening night ceremonies will precede the Evansville, Ind.-Dieselette game.

    Coach Chuck McCord and his Dieselettes have the honor of opening the 1948 season, and they meet their old nemesis from Evansville, the Midwest Federal lassies, a team which last year defeated the crossriver girls in their home opener by a 2 to 0 score.

    Both McCord and Evansville Coach Donald Wilder have an all-veteran team and all indications point to a nip and tuck affair.

    Sunday night these same two teams meet again with the first ball to be tossed at 8.  Thursday night the Tractor baseball nine prys off the lid of its 1948 Tom Connor Field schedule, meeting the Western State College nine from Macomb.  Last year these two clubs met in the early part of the season and the Tractors walked off with a 3 to 2 decision.  Coach Ray Hanson has an all-veteran team this year and has high hopes of annexing the Teachers conference crown.

    The Dieselettes will be back in action the following Saturday night, May 22, when they play host to the Lucas, Ia., girls, game time at 8.  The Dieselettes played the Iowa lassies a two-game series last year and came out on the long end of two pitcher's battles by the scores of 1 to 0 and 3 to 1.

    Peoria fans and the public are cordially invited to attend these contests as guests of the Caterpillar Employes Activities Association.  There is no admission charge for these games.

[from the Peoria Journal, June 1948.  Newspaper clipping from the collection of Sid Eslinger, courtesy of Steve Slaughter]




Girls' Softball.  Marie Wadlow, star pitcher of the Peoria Dieselettes, looks over the score book with Charlie Gordon, center, commissioner of the Urbana softball league,

and Ed Webber, right, star pitcher for the Champaign Moose, before Dieselettes played Kokomo, Ind., Speedettes Wednesday night.

[from the Peoria Journal, June 1948.  Newspaper clipping from the collection of Sid Eslinger, courtesy of Steve Slaughter]








    Valparaiso, Ind., June 23.  (Special) -- Lucille (Sid) Eslinger brilliantly hurled a 3-0 no-hitter against the Valparaiso Queens here tonight as the Dieselettes won their ninth victory in succession.

    Although touched solidly by the Queens at times the outstanding play of Thome and Coney in the gardens saved the no-hitter for Eslinger.

    The Peora [sic] gals produced two runs in the first inning.  Number one came about when Thome singled, stole second, went to third on a base-hit bunt by Coney, and came home on Rudolph's squeeze.  Coney scored tally two on Goll's bounceout.

    Tomorrow night the same teams meet in the second of their two-game series.

    [from the Peoria Journal, June 1949.  Newspaper clipping from the collection of Sid Eslinger, courtesy of Steve Slaughter]




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