The Eastern Illinois League was a regional, professional baseball league in existence from at least the 1930s through the early 1960s.

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Champaign County's hardball league became known as the Eastern lllinois League in the 1930s. Shelby Himes and Jack Waldron of Urbana and Dock Leedy of Ogden were commissioners. Play was expanded to include towns such as Thomasboro, Ogden, Flatville, Royal, Philo, Sidney, Homer, St. Joe, Broadlands, Longview, Ivesdale, Seymour, Fisher, Rantoul, Buckley, Loda, and Champaign.

Each year towns applied to play together with their season ending in a fierce competition for League victory in August. In 1936, there were so many extra applicants for membership in the Eastern lllinois League, Commissioners Himes, Waldron, and Leedy decided to form another league - the Corn Belt League. The African-American baseball team the Leroy Barnes Red Sox were newcomers to the Corn Belt League in 1940, however players for the Red Sox were not new to the game, having played in Champaign's hardball league with teams like the Colored Elks and the Colored Giants.

Through the Years, African American History in Champaign County, Spring 2006 - Read online at eBlackCU: