Illinois Reporter

Stories from intrepid reporters attending the Illinois Press Foundation Journalism Workshop at Eastern Illinois University

Patriotism strikes home in Mattoon

By Kim Boyd and Kaylen Gehrke

A strong sense of patriotism fills the air at the 31st Annual Firecracker Classic in Mattoon on Saturday, June 25th. This baseball tournament of American Legion teams sparks a hometown heritage within the community. The Lincoln Post 263 and Rantoul Post 287 teams competed this Saturday.The American Legion and Firecracker Classic holds a lot of history and importance to the community surrounding Mattoon and promotes pride for this organization.


Fans sit in the outfield stands watching the game between Rantoul Post 287 and Lincoln Post 263 Saturday during the 31st Firecracker Classic. (Photographed by Kaylen Gehrke)




Outfielders Nick Owens and Tanner Miller of Mattoon Post 88 wait to add to their 2-0 record Saturday afternoon at Peterson Park in Mattoon. While waiting the players were absorbed in their phones. (Photo by Kaylen Gehrke)


Water and tea bottles belonging to the second base umpire hang in the fencing surrounding the field during the 31st Annual Firecracker Classic Saturday afternoon in Peterson Park. (Photographed by Kim Boyd)


Adam Boyer, of Mattoon, watches the Rantoul Post 287 versus Lincoln Post 263 game with his 11-year-old son Austin, which is a tradition he said they participate in every year. (Photo taken by Kaylen Gehrke)


Baseball equipment rest on the roof of the Rantoul Post 287 dugout Saturday afternoon during the 31st Firecracker Classic in Mattoon. (Photo by Kim Boyd)


Bill Dcan, of Frasier, Ill., watches his grandson play in the 31st Firecracker Classic at Peterson Park in Mattoon. (Photo by Kim Boyd)


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