Rickwood Field: Home For Birmingham Barons
Rickwood Field located in Birmingham, Alabama was the home of the Birmingham Barons and the Black Barons and is the oldest baseball park in the United States and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The name of the field was derived from the name of A.H. “Rick” Woodward the chairman of the Woodward Iron Company.
Connie Mack was consulted for advice when the park was built and Forbes Field and Shibe Park major league parks at the time were used as models for Rickwood Field.
It only cost $75,000 to construct the field which is amazing considering the cost to construct a new stadium today. Electric fans were installed for the 1914 season to help the fans combat the heat of the summer.
Rickwood Field would be used by the Pittsburgh Pirates as their spring training home in 1919. The field was also used for college football games during the 1920’s.
1,000 wooden seats were bought from the Polo Grounds home of the New York Giants in 1964 six years after the Giants had moved to San Francisco. It preserved a little of major league history with the addition of the seats to Rickwood Field.
Charley Pride of country music fame played in Rickwood Field as a member of the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro League.
The field has hosted an annual throwback game each season since 1996 when both teams wear throwback uniforms from the past.
Even though the field is not being regularly used over $2 million has been spent in refurbishing the stadium and may someday have a museum of southern baseball.