July, 2012 Archives

I gathered up my camera’s and lenses and headed east on I-74 over to Bloomington, IL to try and capture some photo’s of a Bartonville area baseball legend 12 year-old Payton McSimov. He plays the game with same enthusiasm as future MLB Hall-of-Famer Jim Thome and Bradley University legend and 1984 U.S.A. Olympic Gold Medal winner Mike Dunne. Payton who was diagnosed early in his life with Costello syndrome. He plays for his favorite team the St.Louis Cardinals in the Miracle League of Central Illinois with the support of his family and friends.

-Bob

I made my way up north to Henry, IL to photograph the Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League Champions Tour event. This was the 14th annual Truck & Tractor Pulls competition held at the Marshall-Putnam Fairgrounds. The grandstands were jam packed with over 5,800+ loud and energetic fans and they were not disappointed by all of the drivers who showed off their beautiful toys. Click here for results from the event.

-Bob

The home run derby may have been scheduled for Tuesday night but no one told the players that, as the 2012 State Farm Frontier League All-Star game saw the two teams combined for a total of seven long balls on the evening, with the Eastern Division’s best prevailing over the All-Stars from the West 9-6 Wednesday night at the Corn Crib. London Rippers first baseman Joash Brodin was honored with the game’s Most Valuable Player Award, going 4-5 with a homerun and three runs scored. The squad from the East treated fans at the Corn Crib to souvenirs early and often, with Traverse City’s Jose Vargas opening the scoring in the top of the first when he belted a two-out, solo shot to the top of the berm in left. Southern Illinois Miners outfielder Chad Maddox extended the East’s lead when he too hammered a solo home-run in the top of the second inning. Normal CornBelter catcher Pat Trettel gave the hometown fans something to cheer about as he helped cut into the East’s lead with an RBI single in the bottom of the frame, bringing in Schaumburg Boomers outfielder Chad Mozingo. The next batter, River City outfielder Jason Patton, knocked in Gateway’s Jarod Yakubik with an RBI single of his own, bringing the score to 9-6, but the West would get no closer. Lake Erie Crushers left hander Paul Fagan picked up the win for the East, while Gateway right handed pitcher Tim Brown took the loss. Regular season games resume on Friday.

-Bob

Russell Moldenhauer of the Lake Erie Crushers belted his way to a victory defeating Florence’s Jim Jacquot in the State Farm Frontier League Home Run Derby with five home runs in the final Tuesday night at The Corn Crib before 4,290 fans. Round one saw Jacquot, Moldenhauer, London’s Joash Brodin, and Traverse City’s Jeff Flagg hammering the most long balls, narrowing the field of 14 to the final four contestants. Flagg advanced by overpowering Windy City’s Chad Cregar and River City’s Charlie Lisk in a tiebreaker for the final spot. “I was surprised I got there. It went way better than I ever imagined,” the 6-1, 210-pound Jacquot said. “I had to go opposite field with the wind, not necessarily ideal for hitting home runs. But he (Moldenhauer) did a good job. It was going to be tough to beat him.” Normal’s Pat Trettel did not clear the fence in his allotted eight first-round swings. The festivities continue tomorrow evening at 6:30 p.m. when the Western Division All-Stars face off against the Eastern Division in the 2012 State Farm Frontier League All-Star Game. Click here for complete results.

-Bob

The premier bicycle race in the Peoria area turns 25 this year. The Peoria Bicycle Club hosted the Morton Community Bank Cycling Classic on Saturday through the streets of Morton, IL. Nicolai Broechner from Denmark out-sprinted the field to win the day’s main event, run in triple-digit temperatures through the downtown course. Nine of the 42 riders in the field dropped out before the race ended, despite a “feed zone” that was added to this year’s event. High area finisher in the main event was Brett Bohanan of Washington, IL, who placed sixth. A junior rider from East Peoria, IL, Mitchell Gray, won the junior men’s 15-18 race. In the Masters 50+/60+ race, Gary Dyer, 54, from Eureka, IL placed second, behind Jeannie Kuhajek, 39, of Crystal Lake, IL.

-Bob

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