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#Sports

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Put Up Your Dukes Small Fry Boxers, March 1958

Little League boxing, 1958.

Billy Kletz (left) and Jim Heafer get ready for the upcoming Small Fry Boxing Championship at the Western Avenue Community Center.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Fearsome Front Line Illinois State, September 1941

Illinois State University football team, 1941.

Seen here are the gridiron “Red Birds” who went 3-4-2 in 1941, with losses including a 7-0 heartbreaker to Illinois Wesleyan.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Black Baseball in Bloomington August 1944

12- to 16-year-olds play baseball, 1944.

These 12- to 16-year-olds played American Legion ball sponsored by the local Louis E. Davis Post. They’re posing here on Illinois Wesleyan University grounds. That’s the Van Leer Memorial Chime Tower at Broadview Mansion looming in the background.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Warren “Ike” LaBounty Normal Pole Vaulter

Pole Vaulter, 1941.

On May 24, 1941, Illinois State Normal University competed in the Illinois Intercollegiate Conference track and field championship in DeKalb, on the campus of what was then called Northern Illinois State Teachers College.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

En Garde! Fencing Comes to Wesleyan April 1941

IWU fencing, 1941.

n the spring of 1941, fencing became the newest sport on the Illinois Wesleyan University campus. Seen here are Prof. R.M. Chase giving pointers (pun intended) to Russell Stickney (left) and Bill Trierweiler. Looking on is Robert Lucey, captain of the fencing group.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Fans Field, South Bloomington Aerial, 1938

Fans Field, 1938.

This photo recalls the Bloomers, Bloomington’s professional minor league team that played in the Illinois-Indiana-Iowa League from 1901 to 1939.The Bloomers home was Fans Field. Today, this site is occupied by Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department’s RT Dunn Fields and a series of businesses along Lafayette Street, including Weber Electric and Aramark. The Fans Field grandstand burned down in August 1947.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Depression-Era Skaters Bloomington, Circa 1930s

Children with skates, undated.

This lovely photo is a mystery. The year, location, and those pictured are unknown.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Play Ball! Cooksville, 1909

Baseball players, 1909.

McLean County’s smaller communities, including the Village of Cooksville, once fielded competitive baseball clubs that welcomed all comers. Costello & O’Malley’s (note the misspelling on the photo—Costello with an extra “T”) was a menswear store on the 300 block of Main Street in downtown Bloomington.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

BHS Athletic Field Undated Aerial

Aerial view of Bloomington High School Field, undated.

This undated view of Bloomington High School’s Athletic Field is looking southeast. Opened in 1927, this facility was first known as Davis Field, named for U.S. Supreme Court Justice and Bloomington resident David Davis. In 1943 it was renamed Fred Carlton Field for a former BHS graduate and school custodian.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

McLean County Basketball Tournament Championship Game, January 21, 1966 Octavia 68, Lexington 48

McLean County basketball tournament, 1966.

For many years the biggest sporting event on the local calendar was the McLean County Basketball Tournament, which began way back in 1911. During the years before school consolidation, 20 or more McLean County high schools outside of Bloomington-Normal would battle it out for bragging rights as the county’s small school champion.There were 11 schools vying for the 1966 tourney title. On January 21, Octavia beat Lexington in the championship game before a packed Horton Field House crowd on the Illinois State University campus.

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