Tim Kratochvil Elected to the Southern Illinois University
MT. OLIVE – Tim Kratochvil, originally from Mt. Olive, and now the Principal at Pawnee Junior-Senior High School, was elected to the Southern Illinois University-Carbondale Athletic Hall of Fame. Kratochvil was honored to be selected to this prestigious position. In their press release, the Athletic Department ranked him among the best catchers in school history. He was First Team All-Missouri Valley Conference in 1994 and in 1995, finished fourth in career home runs with 24, second in RBIs at 163 and set the school record with career doubles with 51. He was two time MVP and winner of the baseball highest award, the 1996 Abe Martin Award winner. It is believed that he is the only catcher ever named to the Hall of Fame.
He was an all around athlete in high school as he was all conference in football, basketball and baseball. He scored just under 1500 points in basketball and played in the band too. He was the bugler for all veteran’s funerals. As a baseball player, he was a two time all state first teamer, 4 time All Conference first teamer, selected to the Mazuno All American team in 1992 and also selected by U.S.A. Today newspaper as one of the top 22 catchers in the country. Mazuno was a sporting goods company and at that time they selected a well respected All American team that came from all points of the country.
Tim was highly recruited and signed with Division I school, SIU-C in 1992. He was able to win the starting catching job in fall practice that year and never looked back. He was ready when the season opened up with a game against national ranked Oklahoma State there. In his first game he homered in a 2 to 1 loss. He went on from there to be the starting catcher for the next four years. The 6 foot 2 inch catcher had a lot of bat power. Once while playing at defending Missouri Valley Conference champion Wichita State, he hit a homer over their million dollar score board in left field. Up until that time the only other player to do that was future major league player Joe Carter.
Tim had shoulder and knee surgery during his college career and that affected his professional baseball status. He did play two years with the Boston Red Sox organizatiion. He was able to hit over 300 with the Lowell Massachusetts class A team being one of only two to hit over 300. The other was Shea Hillenbrand, later with the San Francisco Giants. After another year playing with the BattleCats of Michigan, he decided to retire from baseball, earn a better income, and take a job with the Genoa Kingston High School as a teacher and coach.
He is now the Principal of Pawnee Junior and Senior High School after a stop at Taylorville High School. He is the son of Roger and Mary Kratochvil of Mt. Olive. His pride and joy is his three children, Jack age 17, Luke age 15, and Olivia age 10, all student athletes in the Pawnee schools.