Belleville Stags
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Belleville Stags
Belleville Stags
Minor league affiliations
ClassClass D (1947-1949)
LeagueIllinois State League (1947-1948)
Mississippi-Ohio Valley League (1949)
Major league affiliations
TeamSt. Louis Browns (1947-1948)
New York Yankees (1949)
Minor league titles
Team data
BallparkBelleville Athletic Field/Stag Park (1947-1949)

The Belleville Stags were a minor league baseball team based in Belleville, Illinois from 1947 to 1949. The Belleville Stags were charter members of the Class D level Illinois State League and remained a franchise when the league changed names to the Mississippi-Ohio Valley League in 1949. The league evolved to become the Midwest League in 1956. The Stags were named and supported by their namesake, Stag Beer.

The Belleville Stags were a minor league affiliate of the St. Louis Browns in 1947 and 1948 and New York Yankees in 1949.


Minor league baseball in Belleville, Illinois began in 1947, when the Belleville Stags became a charter member of the Class D level Illinois State League. In 1947 league play, the Stags joined the Centralia Cubs, Mattoon Indians, Marion Indians, Mount Vernon Braves, and West Frankfort Cardinals as charter members of the six-team Illinois State League. All the league teams were new franchises.[1][2]

The use of the "Stags" moniker by Belleville was in reference to the team being sponsored by Stag Beer. Their home ballpark, Belleville Athletic Field, was also referred to as "Stag Park" while the team played there.[3]

In their first season of play, the 1947 Belleville Stags won the Illinois State League championship in the first season of the Class D level league. The Stags, playing as a minor league affiliate of the St. Louis Browns, finished the regular season with a 75-37 record to place 1st in the standings under manager Walter DeFreitas. The league had no playoffs as Belleville finished 15.0 games ahead of the 2nd place Centralia Cubs in the final standings. Belleville had season home attendance of 18,539, playing home games at Belleville Athletic Field.[4][5][6]

Belleville continued play in the 1948 Illinois State League. The Stags finished with a record of 51-67 to place 5th in the standings under managers Gerald Nemitz and Shan Deniston. Belleville finished 33.0 games behind the 1st place West Frankfort Cardinals in the final standings of the six-team league. Belleville drew 6,085 fans for the season. 1958 Cy Young Award winner and World Series MVP Bob Turley pitched for the 1948 Belleville Stags, pitching to a 9-3 record.[5][7]

Belleville played their final season in 1949. The Stags continued play as the Illinois State League changed names to become the Class D level Mississippi-Ohio Valley League. The name change occurred after the Paducah Chiefs franchise replaced the Marion Indians in the six-team league. The Belleville Stags became an affiliate of the New York Yankees and finished last in the league standings. The Stags finished with a record of 43-76, playing under managers Lee Mueller, Joseph Yurkovich, Addie Nesbit and Malcolm Mick. Belleville's Bunny Mick led the league in batting average, hitting .354. Belleville finished 22.0 games behind the 1st place Centralia Cubs. After drawing 13,500 for the 1949 season, Belleville permanently folded after the 1949 season and were replaced in the 1950 Mississippi-Ohio Valley League by the Vincennes Velvets.[8][9][10]

The "Stags" had played as an independent local team before the minor league team, and they reformed to play as a local independent team into the 1950s after the demise of the professional franchise.[11]

Today, the "Belleville Stags" moniker has been adopted by a local "vintage" baseball team, members of the Vintage Baseball Association.[12][13][14]

Belleville, Illinois has not hosted another minor league team.[15]

The ballpark

The Belleville Stags played home games at the Belleville Athletic Field. As the team was sponsored by Stag Beer, the ballpark was also referred to as "Stag Park." The ballpark was located at 901 South Illinois Street at Cleveland Avenue (Route 159 & IL 13), Belleville, Illinois. Today, the site houses an auto dealership.[16][3]

Belleville, IL sign


Year(s) # Yrs. Team Level League Affiliate
1947-1948 2 Belleville Stags Class D Illinois State League St. Louis Browns
1949 1 Mississippi-Ohio Valley League New York Yankees

Year-by-year records

Year Record Finish Attendance Manager Playoffs/Notes
1947 75-37 1st 18,539 Walter DeFreitas League Champions
1948 51-67 5th 6,085 Gerald Nemitz / Shan Deniston Did not qualify
1949 43-76 6th 13,500 Lee Mueller / Joseph Yurkovich
Addie Nesbit / Malcolm Mick
Did not qualify

Notable players

Bob Turley 1959

See also

Belleville Stags players


  1. ^ "1947 Illinois State League". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ "Belleville, Illinois Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Belleville, IL". Belleville Athletic Field. Retrieved 2018. The park was funded by Stag Beer, and was home to the Belleville Stags. The catcher faced southeast.
  4. ^ "Belleville Stags - BR Bullpen".
  5. ^ a b "Illinois State League - BR Bullpen".
  6. ^ "1947 Belleville Stags Statistics".
  7. ^ "1948 Belleville Stags Statistics".
  8. ^ "Baseball in Belleville, Illinois". Retrieved 2018.
  9. ^ "Mississippi-Ohio Valley League - BR Bullpen".
  10. ^ "1949 Belleville Stags Statistics".
  11. ^ Roger Schlueter. "Roger's Stags History". Retrieved 2018.
  12. ^ "Belleville Stags Vintage Base Ball Club, 2425 North Illinois St, Swansea, IL (2021)".
  13. ^ Saathoff, Corey (July 24, 2014). "Vintage baseball brings history to life". Republic-Times | News.
  14. ^ "Club Directory".
  15. ^ "Belleville, Illinois Encyclopedia".
  16. ^ "Belleville Athletic Field Minor League History". Baseball Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on March 27, 2016. Retrieved 2016.

External links

Baseball Reference

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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