Monday, August 24, 2009

Rickwood Field, Birmingham Alabama

Built in 1910 by Birmingham industrialist Rick Woodward for the Birmingham Coal Barons. Rickwood Field was modeled after Pittsburgh’s Forbes Field and Connie Mack designed the field dimensions. Opening Day was on August 18, 1910 at 3:30 p.m. The Barons defeated the Montgomery Climbers 3-2 before more than 10,000 fans. The Barons played at Rickwood Field until 1987, when they moved into the suburban Hoover Metropolitan Stadium. The famous Black Barons of the Negro Leagues also called Rickwood home during their existence. The legendary Willie Mays, who grew up minutes away, was a 16-year old center-fielder on the 1948 championship squad. The Black Barons played their home games at Rickwood when the (White) Barons were out of town. Championship pennants from both teams are painted on the exterior of the ballpark behind the third base grandstand. The 1983 Barons were the last Rickwood tenants to celebrate a championship when they won the Southern League that year.



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