I continue my series on Illinois born major league players. If you wish to see the list of players we have highlighted so far, please click HERE.



Larry Stahl



Larry Floyd Stahl as born on June 29, 1941 in Belleville, Illinois and became a  professional baseball player who played outfielder in the Major Leagues from 1964-1973. He played for the Kansas City Athletics, New York Mets, San Diego Padres, and Cincinnati Reds.

He made his debut on September 11, 1964 for the Athletics as a pinch hitter. He got his first hit against the Yankees on September 19th with Ralph Terry on the mound. His one moment in history may have came on September 2, 1972 as a member of the San Diego Padres. Milt Pappas was on the mound for the Cubs and he retired 26 btters in a row and now faced Stahl as a pinch hitter. Pappas got the count to 2-2 with Bruce froemming behnd the plate and threw a very close pitch for ball 3 on the batter. The next pitch was too close to take but Froemming called it ball four and the perfect games was gone and broken up by Larry Stahl. Pappas preserved the no-hitter on the next batter. Primarily an outfielder, his best year was 1971 at age 30 when, in 114 games for the Padres, he hit .253 with eight home runs and 36 runs batted in. He had exactly 400 career hits. In his one postseason appearance, the 1973 National League Championship Series, playing for the Reds he had two hits in four at bats.




Bill Webb

WebbBill   William Joseph Webb was born on June 25, 1895 in Chicago, Illinois. He played in five major league games with his debut on September 17, 1917 as a second baseman for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He went ent hitless in his first four games but on October 1, 1917, which turned out to be his last major league game, he got three singles in four at bats to end his career at 3-for-15 for a .200 batting average. He went to the minor leagues and became a player-manager for the Buffalo Bisons in 1924-1925 and then moved up the ldder from there. He was a third base coach in the major legues for fives seasons and then went to the front office for the White Sox as minor league director. He died in a car accident on his way to work on January 12, 1943.




Joe Zdeb



Joseph Edmund Zdeb was born on June 27, 1953 in Compton, Illinois (Compton is a village in Lee County, Illinois, United States. The population was 303 at the 2010 census, down from 347 in 2000) and attended high school at Maine South in Park Ridge, Illinois. He had a scholarship to the University of Missouri to play football but was chosen in the 4th round of the 1971 amateur draft by the Kansas City Royals. He decided to play baseball. He had several minor leagues stops on his way to the major leagues. At some point, during minor league spring training, he showed up to camp with long hair, which was against team policy. Manager Joe Gordon refused to give him a uniform, so he approached general manager Lou Gorman, asking “Mr. Gorman, if I cut my hair, will I become a better ballplayer?” Gorman said he needed to cut it to properly represent the organization, and after initially refusing, he did so a couple days later.

He made his major league debut on April 7, 1977 and went 1-for 4. He was a platoon (left fielder) player most of his brief career. He played his last game in May 29, 1979. On January 15, 1980, Zdeb was traded to the Chicago White Sox for pitcher Eddie Bane. He finished his professional career that year, splitting the season between the White Sox Iowa Oaks affiliate and the Tidewater Tides in the New York Mets organization. His struggles at the plate continued, as he hit a combined .194, and after the season he was out of professional baseball. For his career, he batted .272 with 2 home runs and 34 runs batted in.





Welcome to my series called, Illinois Born “Boys of Summer”. It is my hope to bring some history to your baseball knowledge from the State of Illinois. Many cemeteries around the state have the grave sites of former major league players. From the big towns like Chicago and Peoria to the smaller one in Atlanta, Staunton, Latham Havana, Emden and more, we find former major league players.



Here is a link to each one that has been written and the town they were born in Illinois. Enjoy!

Atlanta— Lee Dunham

Auburn— Dutch Leonard 

Aurora— Ken Jungels 

Belleville— Larry Stahl

Belvidere— Joe Charboneau 

Blue Island— Norm Glockson  

Bushnell— Earl Sheely 

Cantrall— Carl Vandagrift

Carlyle— Mel Simons  

ChicagoEddie GaedelCharlie KavanaughMem Lovett , Eddie MaloneHeinie Reitz 

Gerry ArrigoIrv Medlinger , Newt HollidayGeorge VukovichHank O’Day

George MoriartyBill Webb  

Chicago Hts.– Bret Prinz   

Cramer– Bill Tuttle   

Compton– Joe Zdeb

Danville– Jason Anderson  

Decatur– Jeff Innis   

Divernon– Al Papai

East St. Louis– Frank MillardSalty Parker  

Elgin– Lou North 

Elkhart- Jake Stahl, Tommy Thompson

Evanston– Pete Burnside 

Fillmore– Ray Sinclair 

Harrisburg– John Romonsky  

Joliet— Tom Haller   

Latham– Eugene “Junior” Thompson

Lincolnwood– George Kontos 

Mount Olive– Mike Kreevich

Mt. Carroll– Ward Miller   

Olney– Glenn BrummerOllie PickeringDummy MurphyStan Royer         

Peoria– George WhitemanZach MonroeTom Gilles   

Petersburg– Bill Krieg      

Rock Island– Bill Zies 

Shiloh– Roy Hawes   

Staunton– Henry Keupper 

Streator– Ken Sears  

Taylorville– Pat Perry 







Here is my on-going series on Illinois Born major league baseball players.




Ken Jungels


Born Kenneth Peter Jungels (June 23, 1916 – September 9, 1975) in Aurora, Illinois. He became a Major League Baseball pitcher who played for five seasons. He played for the Cleveland Indians from 1937 to 1938 and 1940 to 1941 and the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1942. He made his debut with the Cleveland Indians and went 0-for-4 on September 15, 1937.. He last played on June 7, 1942 in a Pirates uniform. His career record was 1-0 with a 6.80 ERA and struck out 21 batters. His nickname was “Curly”.



Henry Keupper



Henry John Keupper (July 24, 1887 in Staunton, Illinois – August 14, 1960 in Marion, Illinois), was a professional baseball player who played pitcher in the Major Leagues in 1914. He would play for the St. Louis Terriers. He was 8-20 in his career which was just one season with a 4.27 ERA.




George Vukovich

VukovichGeo George Stephen Vukovich (June 24, 1956) is a former right fielder in Major League Baseball who played for the Philadelphia Phillies and Cleveland Indians in all or part of six seasons from 1980–1985. Listed at 6′ 0″ , 198 lb.), Vukovich batted left handed and threw right handed. He was born in Chicago.

Vukovich attended college at Southern Illinois University, where he was a member of Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity. The Phillies selected him in the fourth round of the 1977 MLB draft out of SIU.

Vukovich made his major league debut with the Phillies in 1980, appearing as a pinch hitter in a game against the Montreal Expos. He received a World Series ring in his rookie season, even though he did not play in the Series.

In December 1982, Vukovich was sent along with Jay Baller, Julio Franco, Manny Trillo and Jerry Willard to the Indians in the same transaction that brought Von Hayes to Philadelphia. Afterwards, he played two seasons in Japan for the Seibu Lions from 1986 to 1987.

In between, Vukovich played winter ball with the Águilas del Zulia of the Venezuelan League during three seasons spanning 1979–1982.



Series Continues–

He was born Thomas Frank Haller in Lockport, Illinois on June 23, 1937 to Frank and Julia Haller. He played 12 seasons in the msjor leagues as a catcher for three different teams in his career and was selected as an All Star 3 times. He made his debut on April 11, 1961 for the San Francisco Giants and his last game was for the Detroit Tigers on October 4, 1972. He hit .257 in his career and smacked 134 home runs and had 504 runs batted in.




Early Life

The story goes that his dad, who worked in the steel mills in Joliet, Illinois, headed to Barrett;s Hardware Store with a list in his hand from his wife but didn’t buy anything as he spent $68 on baseball equipment for his kids. This amount of money would take a year for him to pay back. His wife, Julia, was upset because they didn’t have 35 cents to buy bread.

Fast forward to high school and he was a three sport star in football, baseball and basketball at Rockport High School and earned a football scholarship at the University of Illinois where he became the starting quarterback. During his junior year at Illinois, in 1957 he was third among the Big Ten Conference quarterbacks in passing. Against Ohio State, in the Big Ten opener, he went 10-for-13 with 183 yards passing, but the Illini lost to Ohio State, 21-7. The following week, he led his team to a 34-13 upset over Minnesota. Later in the season, in a nationally televised game, they toppled Michigan 20-19. They ended the season rolling over Northwestern 27-0.

During the summers he would play baseball and Haller headed to Moose Jaw Canada and contributed 18 home runs and caught the eye of baseball scouts. He was signed by the San Francisco Giants  on February 25, 1958, for $54,000. Part of that money, $2,500, was sent directly to the University of Illinois. Haller, the star quarterback, had left school with one year of eligibility remaining. His feeling was that, “It was only fair to repay the money since I cannot continue to compete for the university.” His father also stipulated that he would return to school and get his degree, and that he did. He spent the next three off-seasons at Illinois, completing his degree in Physical Education, graduating in 1961.

Major Leagues

He spent three season in the minors and then the Giants called him up on April 11, 1961 for his debut. He went 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. BOXSCORE


Haller hit .261 with 18 home runs and 55 RBIs for the Giants in 1962, in a platoon system alongside Ed Bailey. Haller and Bailey combined to give the Giants 35 home runs and 100 runs batted in from the catcher’s position as they battled the Los Angeles Dodgers in a tight pennant race.The two teams ended the season tied for first place and met in the 1962 National League tie-breaker series. The Giants won the three-game series to clinch the National League championship. The Giants then lost the New York Yankees in the 1962 World Series in seven games. He collected four hits in 14 at-bats with a home run and three runs batted in during the Series.He was traded to the Dodgers in 1968 and played four seasons before being shipped to Detroit for his final year in 1972.



Coaching and Managing

After his playing career ended, Haller worked for the Giants as a coach (1977–1979), and was their vice president of baseball operations (1981–1986). He was named to the Giants’ 25th anniversary team in 1982.In 1986, he served as the manager of the minor league Birmingham Barons. In June 1986, He was named as the General Manager of the Chicago White Sox.

After a long illness with the West Nile Virus , Tom Haller died in Los Angeles, on November 26, 2004 at age of 67.


His brother Bill Haller was a longtime umpire.

Continuing with major league players that were born in Illinois. Please take time to look back and some of the other profiles written. 


Irv Medlinger


Born Irving John Medlinger on June 18, 1927 in Chicago, Illnois. He was a left-handed pitcher that made his debut on April 20, 1949 for the St. Louis Browns. In that debut (BOXSCORE) he came in to pitch the 8th inning against the Cleveland Indians and got them in order without any issues. The 9th inning was a different story as he issued a walk, fanned the next batter, allowed a double, fanned the next one and allowed a single before they removed him from the game. His stat line is 1.2IP/3H/3ER/1BB/2K. For his career he had a 13.83 ERA with 9 strikeouts in 13.2 innings on the mound. He played his final game on September 28, 1951. He died at age 48 in a small plane crash as the engine failed on a Piper PA-24 Comanche near Wheeling, Illinois on September 3, 1975.







Newt Halliday


Newton Shurz Halliday was born on June 18, 1896 in Chicago, Illinois. “Newt” has very little record of his baseball activities, however, we know he made his debut on August 19, 1916 with the Pittsburgh Pirates and it was the ONLY game he played in. HE took one at bat and struck out and he had three putouts as a first baseman. Records show he didn’t play in the minor leagues. He joined the Navy after the start of World War I and was stationed at Great Lakes Naval Training School and it was there he came down with tuberculosis and died at Great Lakes, Illinois on April 6, 1918 at the age of 21. Halliday was one of eight Major League Baseball players known either to have been killed or died from illness while serving in the armed forces during World War I. The others were Alex Burr‚ Harry Chapman, Larry Chappell‚ Harry Glenn, Eddie Grant‚ Ralph Sharman and Bun Troy.









My series on Illinois born major league baseball players.

The “Boys of Summer”


Bill Zies



William Zies was born on June 16, 1867 in Rock Island Illinois that played in two games (August 9-10, 1891 for the St. Louis Browns. He took three at bats in the major leagues and got one hit and was a catcher.

He died April 16, 1907 at the age of 39 and is buried in Beardstown, Illinois.


Joe Charboneau


Joseph Charboneau was born in Belvidere, Il on June 17, 1955. He had a rocky but sometimes successful career that was filled was eccentric behavior and fan adornment. As a 21 yr old, he was drafted in the 11976 amateur draft by te Minnesota Twins and he didn’t sign. In the supplemental draft in December the Phillies took him and he was assigned to the Class A Western Carolina League. He played in 43 game and hit .298 for them. He wasn’t happy as he was always in a fight with management over several issues. The next year he went to Minnesota and played in the California League for Visalia abd hit .35o for the season. During the off-season, he got into a fight at a bar and Cleveland decided to move him with a trade to Cleveland. He was sent to Chattanooga (AA) and led the Southern League with a .352 batting average.

He was going to go to AAA for Cleveland in 1980 until one of the regulars got hurt and they brought him into Spring Training. However, on March 8, a fan stuck a knofe four inches into hiss gut and hit a rib knocking him out for the beginning of the season. He made his debut on April 11, 1980 with the Indians. He went 1-for-4 with a home run in the 5th inning and the craziness began. He quickly became a fan favorite, whether it was from his tendency to dye his hair different colors, open beer bottles with his eye socket or drinking beer with a straw through his nose.


Joseph Charboneau (born June 17, 1955) is a former Major League Baseball player for the Cleveland Indians in the early 1980s. Bursting on the scene in 1980, Charboneau captured Cleveland’s imagination, not just with his production but also his eccentricities. Charboneau had a tendency to dye his hair unnatural colors, as well as open beer bottles with his eye socket and drink beer with a straw through his nose. Other stories emerged about how he did his own dental work and fixed a broken nose with a pair of pliers and a few shots of Jack Daniel’s whiskey, stood out; by mid-season, Charboneau was the subject of a song, “Go Joe Charboneau”, that reached #3 on the local charts. He was also on the cover of several local Cleveland magazines. After winning the AL Rookie of the Year award in 1980, by hitting .289 with 23 homers and 87 runs batted in.

His career quickly flamed out amidst injuries. He is one of the most oft-cited examples of baseball’s fabled sophomore jinx, holding the record for the fewest career games played in the Major Leagues by a Rookie of the Year, with 201.He injured his back sliding headfirst  and tried to play through the pain but with no avail. Hitting only .208 he was fortunate the 1981 Major League Baseball strike interrupted the season. After play resumed, he was sent to the minors for 18 games and returned to the Indians. His season numbers show he hit 4 home runs with 18 runs batted in and a .210 batting average. He had back surgery in the winter.

Things didn’t get any better for him in 1982 and he was sent back to Chattanooga and hit poorly. In 1983 he was given his release after giving a fan an obscene gesture. The Pirates took him on in 1984 and he hit .289 in the minor leagues but he retired shortly after that.

He made an appearance in the movie “The Natural” as a teammate of Roy Hobbs and then he tried several different venturew. Today, he is a manager of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League.



Our other sites include:

History of Cardinals


Continuing my series on Illinois Born Major League Players.



Bret Prinz

Bert Randolph Prinz was born in Chicago Heights, Illinois on June 15, 1977. He made his pitching debut with the Diamondbacks on April 22, 2001. He was traded to the Yankees in 2003 where he want 1-0 with a 5.93 ERA. From there he went to the Angels, then the Rockies, White Sox, Cubs and Oakland. His career numbers show he was 5-4 with a 4.89 ERA and fanned 64 batters.



Norm Glockson

Norman Stanley Glockson was born on June 15, 1894 in Blue Island, Illinois. HE became a major league catcher and also played in the National Football League as a guard. In 1914 he played in deven games for the Cincinnati Reds and was 0-for-12 in his career. He died on August 5, 1955 and is buried in Maywood, Illinois


Eddie Malone

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Edward Russell Malone became a major league baseball catcher. He played many minor league games (1938-1954) but got a few games in the major leagues. In 1949 he started 48 games for the Chicago White Sox and had 170 at bats with a .271 batting average. He got in a few games in 1950 but had limited time. He died June 1, 2006 and is buried in Laguna Hills, California.


Continue my series on Illinois Born Major League Players.

Ray Sinclair

Raymond Sinclair “Ray” Richmond (June 5, 1896 – October 21, 1969) in Fillmore, Illinois which is in Douglas County near Champaign. He was a Major League Baseball pitcher who appeared in eight games for the St. Louis Browns in 1920 and 1921. He made his debut on September 25, 1920 with the Browns and compiled a 2-1 record with an 8.62 ERA. He played his last game on June 26, 1921.

He died on October 21, 1969 and is buried in DeSoto, Missouri.

Mem Lovett

Merritt Marwood (Mem) Lovett (June 15, 1912 – September 19, 1995) was a major league baseball player who appeared as a pinch-hitter in a single major league game for the Chicago White Sox on September 4, 1933. A native of Chicago, Illinois, USA, Lovett batted and threw right-handed. He went 0-for-1.

Lovett died in Downers Grove, Illinois, at age of 83.

Lou North

NorthLouLouis Alexander North was born on June 15, 1891 in Elgin, Illinois. He  was a professional baseball pitcher that was a right-handed pitcher over parts of seven seasons (1913, 1917, 1920–1924) with the Detroit Tigers, St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Braves. For his career, he compiled a 21–16 record in 172 appearances, most as a relief pitcher, with an 4.43 earned run average and 199 strikeouts. In 1918 North served in the military during World War I. He died on May 15, 1974 in Shelton, Connecticut.

Heinie Reitz

ReitzHeinieHenry Peter Reitz was born on June 29, 1867  in Chicago and was nicknamed “Heinie”.
In 1893, Reitz was sold, for $300, by the San Francisco Friscos to the Baltimore Orioles. His five-year tenure at Baltimore included his most notable season, 1894, during which he collected 31 triples. At the time, this tied Dave Orr’s mark, set in 1886, for most triples in a single season.

Although Chief Wilson surpassed both of them with his 36 triple season in 1912, Reitz and Orr still hold second place for this record. Contributing to Reitz’s 31 triples in 1894 were two bases loaded triples he hit in the 3rd and 7th inning on June 4 against the Chicago Colts that led Baltimore to a 12–4 victory.

Reitz’s two bases loaded triples in a single game matched a feat achieved by Sam Thompson in 1887. The frequency with which Reitz hit triples in 1894 was marked departure from every other season in his career. Excluding his record-tying season, he averaged under six triples per year.

On December 10, 1897, he was traded (with Jack Doyle and Doc Amole) to the Washington Senators in exchange for Doc McJames, Gene DeMontreville, and Dan McGann. After one season in Washington, Reitz was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for Dick Padden, Jimmy Slagle, and Jack O’Brien. Reitz played 34 games for Pittsburgh in the 1899 season, and was traded in March 1900, to Milwaukee of the American Association in exchange for a player to be named later. In September 1900, Pittsburgh received Harry Smith to complete the transaction.

Reitz was killed in a car accident (November 10, 1910) at the age of 47 in Sacramento, California. This marked the first time that a car accident claimed the life of a major league baseball player, although it would not be until 1924 that an active major-leaguer, Boston Braves shortstop Tony Boeckel, would die in an auto accident.

I continue the series.

Illinois Born Major League Players-


Gerry Arrigo


Arrigo was born Gerald William Arrigo on June 12, 1941 in Chicago and attended Harrison High School. After his high school days, he was signed in 1960 by the Chicago White Sox in the amateur draft and then drafted away by the Minnesota Twins. He made his major league debut (Boxscore) on June 12, 1961 (his 20th birthday) giving up three runs and taking the loss. One of his best games came om June 26, 1964 when he had a no-hitter broken up in the 9th inning against the White Sox and he repeated the one hitter in 1967 on April 29th pitching against the Yankees. .

On August 16, 1966 he was purchased by the Cincinnati Reds and had his best season with them in 1967 as he started 31 games and threw 205 innings with a 3.33 ERA and a 12-10 record. He pitched five complete games and struck out 140 batters. He was later sent to the White Sox and played his final game in June 5, 1970.



George Kontos


George Nicholas Kontos (born June 12, 1985) is a relief pitcher, that plays for the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball (MLB). Kontos made his MLB debut on September 10, 2011 (Boxscore) for the New York Yankees before he was traded to the Giants before the 2012 season. Prior to playing professionally, he played college baseball at Northwestern University. He bats and throws right-handed.

The New York Yankees selected Kontos in the fifth round of the 2006 Major League Baseball draft after his junior year and was assigned to the Staten Island Yankees of the Class A-Short Season New York–Penn League.

On February 1, 2016, Kontos agreed to a one-year, $1.15 million contract with the San Francisco Giants, avoiding arbitration. After appearing in eight of the Giants’ first 13 games of the 2016 season, Kontos went on the disabled list with a strained flexor.
Kontos’ younger brother, Chris, played on a traveling baseball team, known as the Renegades, that was coached by Steve Bartman and his second cousin Tony.



We are continuing our  profile of major league players born in Illinois. 


Mike_Kreevich   Mike Kreevich



Michael Andreas Kreevich was born in Mount Olive, Illinois on June 10, 1908. He was a small person at five foot seven and began working in the coal mines in 1924 at 16 years of age. The mines closed during the Great Depression in 1930 and began to play more baseball. He got an invite to play for a team in Oklahoma and before long he got the notice of the Chicago Cubs.

In 1931, Kreevich an outfielder, made his major league debut on September 7, 1931 and went 2-for-4 with a stolen base. He played five games during that season. He joined the White Sox in 1935 and worked hard to become a regular in 1936. In that season he led the American League in sacrifice flies and triples. He was named to the 1938 All Star team.


He was traded to Philadelphia in 1941 and was released upon the conclusion of the season. In 1943 he signed with the St. Louis Browns and was a participant in the 1944 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. He was sold to the Washington Senators in mid season 1945 and finished out the year and then retired from baseball.

In his 12 year career he batted .283 with 1321 hits, 221 doubles, 75 triples and 45 home runs. He also had 115 stolen bases and 119 sacrifice hits in 1241 games.

He died April 25, 1994 and is buried in Pana, Illinois.