A matched game of base ball will be played on Saturday next between the Lone Star Club of Alma and the Bluff Club of Belleville, at the grounds of the latter, near the depot.
-Missouri Republican, August 1, 1868
But we're talking about the New York game here and there is plenty of evidence to show that the game had reached the smaller towns of Southern Illinois by this time. It was being played in the Metro East area by 1866, at the latest, and, with the popularity of the game being what it was in the post-war era and the exponential growth in the number of clubs, it's not surprising to see a baseball club in a smaller town like Alma in 1868. And, again, I'd imagine, without checking, that there was some kind of railroad line running from East St. Louis to Sparta or Centralia that made it easy for the Lone Stars to get to Belleville and also aided the spread of the game to the region of the state.