Traveling along Route 150, you've got to obey the rules of the road, but at one popular hangout in Farmer City, those same rules don't apply. Illinois Public Media's Sean Powers took a trip there for the wild and fast world of dirt late model racing as part of our series "Life on Route 150.
The Danville Dans have been bringing in collegiate players to sharpen their skills for the past 21 years, producing dozens of major leaguers. But they only tell part of the city's baseball history. Producer Jeff Bossert talks to Jeanie Cook, a managing partner of the Dans, about both these players and Danville Stadium's minor league history, that stretches back to the mid-1940's.
The Eastern Illinois League has been a tradition in cities like Buckley, Paxton, and Royal for 75 years. The amateur baseball league shows off the talents of players ranging in age from teens to their early 40's. But it's also served as a community gathering for hundreds of fans each Sunday, and produced some home-grown talent. Producer Jeff Bossert takes us to Buckley for one of those games.
In his book, 'Playing America's Game: Baseball, Latinos, and the Color Line' - University of Illinois History Professor Adrian Burgos Jr. looks at the plight of some of baseball's earliest Latino players (like Minnie Monoso and Roberto Clemente). He tracks how more and more left their lives at home behind to play the sport and help their struggling families. And while many are making their fortune in the game, Burgos says there are still everyday roadblocks for many, including unexpected language barriers. Illinois Public Media's Jeff Bossert met Burgos at the U of I's Illinois Field to talk about his research.