Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The Havolines Defeat Mt Carmel 1920


Baseball was serious business in Lawrenceville in 1920. 

In the spring of 1920, the Havolines won over the Dugger, Indiana team 17-0. They were then scheduled to play the team from Decatur, the Staley Starch Co. who was said to have one of the fastest semi-pro clubs in the state.  This game was rained out. They later added two more victories by beating the Decatur team when make-up games were played.

In early June, the Havolines won 10-0 against the Mt. Carmel Indians.  Local fans were sadly disappointed in the showing made by the Mt. Carmel team at Havoline field.  The manager of the Mt. Carmel team defended his team by saying his players were not backed by a million-dollar business and that Lawrenceville’s manager had $4,500 to pay his players each month. The editor of the Lawrence County News countered by replying that, 15 years earlier Mt. Carmel “was the only salaried team in the vicinity and they were the undisputed champions of Southern Illinois. They were simply getting a dose of the same medicine they administered to Lawrenceville in the early days.” Subsequently, after this game the Mount Carmel ballplayers all quit and it was said by Mt. Carmel people, that they would attempt to secure a bunch of new men who could play ball.

The Havolines defeated Harrisburg 11-3 on June 10. After winning ten straight games of the season, they lost to the Staleys of Decatur, and the next day lost again 6-2.  Twelve hundred fans turned out to see Lawrenceville’s team play at that city the first day and twenty-two hundred fans were there the second day. The team then traveled to Beloit, Wisconsin, and back to Springfield, Illinois. In July, they were to start a week’s schedule through southern Illinois playing at Eldorado, Christopher, Harrisburg, Herrin, and Murphysboro.