Birmingham’s Rickwood Field is the nation’s oldest operating ballpark and served as the home field of the Birmingham Barons, Birmingham A’s and the Birmingham Black Barons for decades. The Birmingham Barons inaugurated the new field on August 18, 1910 by defeating the Montgomery Climbers. They went on to play for several seasons through 1987. The Black Barons played numerous seasons from 1924 to 1950. From 1967-1975, the Baron’s were owned by Ensley native and A’s owner Charlie O. Finley and was part of the Kansas City and later Oakland A’s organization.
Over the years, Rickwood has hosted its share of legends. With more than 100 members of the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame having played at the field throughout Rickwood’s illustrious history—including Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Satchel Paige and Willie Mays.
Today, the historic field is managed by Friends of Rickwood and hosts local amateur and college teams. The Birmingham Barons still play a ceremonial throwback game at the ballpark every year, the Rickwood Classic, which celebrates Barons teams of the past and this historic field.
Photos courtesy of: Getty Images, Friends of Rickwood, University of South Alabama