Rickwood Field Takes Center Stage

Baseball’s oldest park features an old-school minor league showdown tonight

Date: Jun 18, 2024
Author: Michael Terry
Topics: 2024 Topps MLB at Rickwood Negro League Collection, Barons, Baseball, Birmingham, Birmingham Barons, Michael Terry, MLB, News, Rickwood, Satchel Paige, Willie Mays
Length: 280 Words
Reading Time: ~2 Minutes

Tonight, MLB begins a three-night tribute to the Negro Leagues at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama. Rickwood is the oldest professional ballpark in the country and former home of the Birmingham Black Barons. A timely event coming quickly on the heels of MLB’s recent but long-overdue decision to include Negro League stats to its historical record.

Birmingham Barons president and general manager Jonathan Nelson told MLB.com, “Rickwood Field has played a significant role in the Birmingham community for over a hundred years, and we’re thrilled to be a special part of this event in 2024.” 

This evening, Rickwood Field will feature a minor league game between the Birmingham Barons and Montgomery Biscuits. This is a historic moment for the Birmingham club, in particular. The Birmingham Black Barons were a charter member of the Negro Southern League, beginning in 1920. They were awarded a Major League franchise only three years later, in the Negro National League. Their most famous player, Satchel Paige, joined the Barons in 1928, playing through the 1930 season.

The Black Barons, as with most Negro League teams, did not own their home park, having to rent it from the white Barons. Now, the modern-day Birmingham Barons host a game at Rickwood Field for what is sure to be a special night. MLB has collaborated with Friends of Rickwood and the city of Birmingham to renovate the stadium for this event, which concludes with a MLB matchup featuring the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday.

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