Illinois State League
ClassificationClass D (1947–1948)
SportMinor League Baseball
Inaugural season1947
Replaced byMississippi-Ohio Valley League
PresidentHoward V. Millard (1947–1948)
No. of teams6
CountryUnited States of America
Most titles1
Belleville Stags (1947)
West Frankfort Cardinals (1948)
Illinois-Indiana-Iowa League
Official websiteMidwest League Official Website

The Illinois State League (ISL) was a baseball minor league formed in 1947. The Illinois State League operated in 1947–1948 and evolved to become today's Midwest League. The Class D league was composed entirely of new franchises, each located in Southern Illinois. The charter franchises were in the Illinois cities of Belleville, Centralia, Marion, Mattoon, Mount Vernon and West Frankfort.[1]


The Illinois State League formed in 1947. The first league president was Howard V. Millard. The Illinois State League had the same six franchises in both of its seasons: the Belleville Stags, Centralia Cubs, Marion Indians, Mattoon Indians, Mount Vernon Braves, and West Frankfort Cardinals.[2][3]

In 1947, the league began play, with a 120–game season played in two halves. There was no championship series in 1947 as the Belleville Stags won both halves and were declared as the champion.[4]

In 1948, the West Frankfort Cardinals finished 85–35 in the regular season, for the best record overall. In the playoffs, West Frankfort swept the Mattoon Indians in three games in the Championship Series to capture the 1948 championship.[5][6]

The Illinois State League was renamed the Mississippi–Ohio Valley League after the 1948 season. The name change occurred as the Marion Indians moved to the state of Kentucky to become the Paducah Chiefs. Subsequently, the Mississippi–Ohio Valley League operated through 1955. In 1956, the league changed names again to become the Midwest League. The Midwest League has remained in operation since 1956.[7][8]

All–Star games

The Illinois State League held an annual All–Star Game, which featured an all–star team versus the team with the best record in the standings. The first All–Star Game was held on August 12, 1947 at Memorial Stadium in West Frankfort. The Illinois State League All–Stars defeated Belleville 5–1.[6]

The 1948 Illinois State League All–Star Game was July 12, 1948 at Mattoon Baseball Park. The 1948 All–Stars defeated the Mattoon Indians 1–0.[5][6]

Illinois State League teams: 1947–1948

Team name City represented Ballpark Year(s) active
Belleville Stags Belleville, Illinois Belleville Athletic Field 1947 to 1948
Centralia Cubs Centralia, Illinois Fan's Field 1947 to 1948
Marion Indians Marion, Illinois Marion City Park 1947 to 1948
Mattoon Indians Mattoon, Illinois Mattoon Baseball Park 1947 to 1948
Mount Vernon Braves Mount Vernon, Illinois Veterans Park 1947 to 1948
West Frankfort Cardinals West Frankfort, Illinois Memorial Stadium 1947 to 1948

Standings & statistics

1947 season

Team name W L PCT GB Attend Managers
Belleville Stags 75 37 .670 - 18,539 Walter DeFreitas
Centralia Cubs 60 52 .536 15.0 35,000 Chuck Hawley
Marion Indians 55 56 .495 19.5 36,705 Melvin Ivy
West Frankfort Cardinals 52 60 .464 23.0 43,004 Everett Johnston
Mt. Vernon Braves 49 63 .438 26.0 38,330 Otto Huber
Mattoon Indians 41 64 .390 30.5 25,671 Frank Parenti

No 1947 Playoffs were played. Belleville won both halves.

Player statistics
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Billy Klaus Centralia BA .341 Robert Freels Belleville W 19
Billy Klaus Centralia Hits 147 Don Liddle Mt. Vernon SO 190
Billy Klaus Centralia RBI 84 Ken Wild West Frankfort ERA 1.73
Rip Repulski West Frankfort HR 10 Bob Cherek Belleville Runs 90

1948 season

Team name W L PCT GB Attend Managers
West Frankfort Cardinals 85 35 .708 - 36,656 Harold Contini
Mattoon Indians 75 44 .630 9.5 34,754 Chuck Hawley
Marion Indians 53 66 .445 31.5 13,697 Melvin Ivy
Mt. Vernon Braves 52 66 .441 32.0 11.364 Creepy Crespi
Belleville Stags 51 67 .432 33.0 6,085 Gerald Nemitz / Shan Deniston
Centralia Cubs 41 79 .342 44.0 18,211 Willlard Sellergren / Claude Passeau

Playoffs: West Frankfort 3 games, Marion 1; Mattoon 3 games, Mt. Vernon 2; Finals: West Frankfort 3 games, Mattoon 0.

Player statistics
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Richard Martz Marion BA .361 Floyd Melliere West Frankfort W 21
Don Hazelton Mt. Vernon Hits 150 Mike Blyzka Belleville SO 192
Frank Porreca West Frankfort RBI 94 Floyd Melliere West Frankfort ERA 1.77
Paul Deters Marion HR 8 William Broukal Mattoon Runs 103



  1. ^ "Midwest League History". Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  2. ^ "Illinois State League (D) Encyclopedia and History".
  3. ^ a b The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball. Lloyd Johnson & Miles Wolff, editors (Third ed.). Baseball America. 2007. ISBN 978-1932391176.((cite book)): CS1 maint: others (link)
  4. ^ "Illinois State League 1947". Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Illinois State League 1948". Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c "Illinois State League 1948". Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  7. ^ "1949 Paducah Chiefs". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  8. ^ "1955 Mississippi-Ohio Valley League". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 4, 2018.