Pete’s Passion: Knox sparked Thierry’s love for local sports

From the Register Mail

Knox College has always been home to Pete Thierry.

“Where third base is at the Knox baseball field is where our house used to sit. I was born and raised right there,” he said. “I lived on Central Street.”

Thierry, 74, who stands about 5-foot-5, has short black hair tinged with gray and white, a black mustache and an ever-present pair of black Gucci glasses, has been attending Knox games for the past 57 years. “It is just a school that I was born close to and it became a part of my life,” he said. “I had a cousin, Binky Johnson, who played for Knox. He was from East Moline. I followed him all four years he played at Knox.”

Thierry, a 1953 Galesburg High School graduate, is a former Silver Streaks basketball and baseball star. He also played football for one year, but he would not have if it were not for the Knox connection.

“I weighed 100 pounds and was the starting quarterback my sophomore year. Before the football season, Bill Heerde, who played for Knox and was from Knoxville, taught me how to throw a football. He was a quarterback,” Thierry said. “I went to the old Galesburg High School which is where the Public Safety Building is now and I would cut across through Knox to go to school. I would always stop and watch them practice football.”

Heerde is not the only Knox athlete Thierry has bonded with over the years. For three years, he played summer league softball with Knox’s athletic director and head football coach, Chad Eisele, who graduated from Knox in 1993.