1978 Hall of Honor
Merle (Doc) Adkins was an outstanding collegiate and professional baseball pitcher whose “love affair” with athletics continued until his death in 1935 at age 61. He played for six years on teams representing the former Beloit Academy and College and was the top hurler and leading hitter on the 1901 club that posted four victories over Wisconsin and two each over Northwestern and Notre Dame on the way to a 16-3 season. After brief appearances with Boston and New York of the American League, Adkins spent the decade through 1914 with the Baltimore Orioles of the Old Eastern League, winning as many as 29 games in a season with them. Notably, at the same time he attended medical school at Johns Hopkins University and coached at Trinity College (now Duke University). He practiced medicine for the last 20 years of his life in Durham, North Carolina, where he not only served as a county coroner, church deacon and Sunday school teacher, Rotarian and Shriner, but also acted as team physician for all Durham High School sports, umpire for prep and college baseball games and unofficial professional baseball scout.
Unheralded as a runner when he entered Beloit, Dave Peelle developed as the College’s greatest distance performer through unusual effort, determination and desire. He earned All-American recognition in the NCAA University Division in 1957 and 1958 while competing with the nation’s finest cross country runners and broke course and personal records with unprecedented regularity. Nine of the dozen individual marks he established still stand today. Twice elected Captain of both the Buccaneer track and cross country teams, Peelle was undefeated in regular-season competition as a senior and set record as conference champion in cross country and in the indoor and outdoor 2-mile track events, won the NCAA small-college 3 mile regional and the Beloit Relays 2-mile run, and placed in such major meets as the Central Collegiates, the NAIA and the Drake and Texas Relays. Now an editor with the University of Michigan’s Institute of Science and Technology, he has retained his keen interest in running. During the past three decades, he has participated in 35 marathons, including nine appearances in the famed Boston Classic, and in shorter-distance events like the last three Beloit alumni-varsity meets.