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For thousands of area residents, the Southern Illinois Miners baseball team is their first exposure to minor league baseball, but over 60 years ago, Marion, West Frankfort, Mattoon, and many other Illinois cities were home to minor league teams following the Second World War. On this episode of WSIU InFocus, we'll meet Floyd Melliere of St. Louis who pitched the West Frankfort Cardinals to their 1948 state championship title. Melliere, a native of Prairie du Rocher, Illinois, talks with Debby Whitlatch about his career as a minor league pitcher during the 1940s and '50s and his memories of what it was like to play for West Frankfort's winning team. The interview was recorded on August 30, 2008 at Marion's Rent One Park on the 60th anniversary of the West Frankfort Cardinals' clinching the state title. Whitlatch also talked that night with Toby Brooks, an associate professor of kinesiology at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC), who is writing a book, Season of Change, about West Frankfort's role in local baseball history. Brooks' interview will be featured on WSIU InFocus next Friday, July 3.
Host: Debby Whitlach
Guest(s): Floyd Melliere
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