Illinois State League

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Illinois State League
Sport Baseball Class D
Founded 1947
Ceased 1948 (became Mississippi-Ohio Valley League in 1949)
No. of teams 6
Country USA
Most titles 1 Belleville Stags (1947)
West Frankfort Cardinals
Official website Midwest League Official Website

The Illinois State League (ISL) was a baseball minor league formed in 1947. The league operated in 1947-1948 and evolved to become today's Midwest League. The Class D ISL 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 ISL was renamed the Mississippi–Ohio Valley League after the 1948 season as the Marion Indians moved to the State of Kentucky to become the Paducah Chiefs.[2] Subsequently, the Mississippi-Ohio Valley League operated through 1955 and in 1956 changed names to become the Midwest League.[3]


The league President was Howard V. MIllard.[4] The ISL had the same six teams in both of its seasons: the Belleville Stags, Centralia Cubs, Marion Indians, Mattoon Indians, Mount Vernon Kings, and West Frankfort Cardinals.[5] In 1947, the league began play and established a 120-game season and played two halves. There was no championship series in 1947 because Belleville won both halves.[6] In 1948, the West Frankfort Cardinals finished 85-35 and then swept the Mattoon Indians in three games in the Championship Series.[7]


All-Star Games[edit]

The Illinois State League held an annual All-Star Game. The first All Star Game was held on August 12, 1947 at Memorial Stadium in West Frankfort, as the ISL All-Stars defeated Belleville 5-1.[8] The 1948 Illinois State League All-Star Game was July 12, 1948 at Mattoon Baseball Park.[9] The All-Stars defeated Mattoon 1-0.[10]