Located on the southeast part of Mattoon at 800 S 14th St. Lawson was opened in 1923. The land was given to the City by Mrs. Jennie Pepper Lawson. There are two entrances to this park, one is just off Marshall Avenue on South 13th Street and the other one is on South 14th Street.
New playground equipment was installed in the fall of 2011, thanks to the Kiwanis Club of Mattoon.
Lawson is the Home of “Graham-Field” Cal Ripken Baseball, along with 4 tennis courts, pickleball, a batting cage, 2 pavilions, and a bid field area for soccer, football, and baseball.
Lawson Park Graham Field was chosen to host the first-ever Cal Ripken World Series on August 19-27, 2000. On July 6th, 1999 at a press conference held at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the Babe Ruth League president announced the renaming of its youth baseball 12 and under division from the Bambino Division to the Cal Ripken Baseball Division. Lawson Park also had the honor of hosting the first ever 11 to 12-Year-Old Bambino World Series, August 14-21, 1999. This tournament marked the 30th anniversary of Mattoon hosting our first Babe Ruth World Series.
Other tournaments include the Cal Ripken 12 yr old World Series, and the 2004 Babe Ruth Softball 12U World Series. The 2000 and the 2002 World Series were televised to homes all over the world by Fox Sports Net.
Lawson is also home to the YMCA Soccer league in the fall and the week-long British Soccer camp where each child is coached by a member of the Challenger’s team. Coaches are flown to all areas of the USA to help these children ages 3 to 14. Contact YMCA for more info.
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