EI League: A brain hiccup

They say memory is the second thing to go. 

When I was told about the Eastern Illinois League this spring, it didn’t ring a bell with me.  It did sound interesting… a wood bat league that apparently has been around for quite a while.  So, as avid readers know, I’ve been going to a good amount of Chambana games recently and enjoying it along the way. 

Then today, Bob Swisher wrote an article in the local News Gazette about the history of the EI League (its history can be traced back to 1930) and mentions one of EI’s greats, Ehm Franzen. 

Some EI unis on display at the exhibit last March

Ehm Franzen??  Then Boom! Bang!  The circuits in my brain did a somersault when I realized that I’ve had a run-in with the EI League last year.  Shawn Lee (of Vermilion Voles fame) and I went to a talk and exhibit at the Early American Museum in Mahomet that was entitled "A Whole ‘Nother Ball Game".  While the focus was on the Three-I League (a different league all together), there were exhibits on the Eastern Illinois Baseball League being displayed. 

Ehm Franzen

Even better, EI League great Ehm Franzen was in attendance at the talk.  Shawn and I got a chance to talk to him afterwards and boy, he had some stories!  He claimed to have faced Satchel Paige twice. 

Here are photos I took last March from "A Whole ‘Nother Ball Game" Exhibit.

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