July 23, 1976
The rock band KISS played a concert at Rickwood Field, the nation’s oldest operating ballpark, in Birmingham. Constructed of steel and concrete, a first for a minor-league ballpark, the 7,000-seat Rickwood Field opened on Aug. 18, 1910 and served as the home park for the Birmingham Barons for more than 60 years. In all, more than 50 members of the Baseball Hall of Fame have played at Rickwood Field, including notable Alabamians Mule Suttles, Satchel Paige and Willie Mays. The field now hosts amateur and local teams and the annual Rickwood Classic, a Birmingham Barons throwback game that celebrates teams of the past.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.
Rickwood Field, 2010, located in Birmingham, AL, is the oldest surviving professional baseball park in the United States. It was built for the Birmingham Barons in 1910 by industrialist and team-owner Rick Woodward and has served as the home park for the Birmingham Barons and the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro Leagues. Rickwood Field is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (The George F. Landegger Collection of Alabama Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith’s America, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)
Musicians Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer of KISS perform onstage during the 23rd Annual Race To Erase MS Gala at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on April 15, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
A. H. “Rick” Woodward was the owner of the Birmingham Barons minor league baseball team during the early twentieth century and built Rickwood Field, the nation’s oldest operating ballpark. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, Courtesy of Birmingham Public Library Archives)
A 1926 photograph of a Dixie Series game at Rickwood Field in Birmingham. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, Courtesy of Birmingham Public Library Archives)
Rickwood Field- view of the playing field from behind the backstop, looking toward the pitcher’s mound. (Photograph by Jet Lowe, Historic American Buildings Survey, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division)
Rickwood Field- View of the playing field with home plate to center, stands in the background, and dugout in the foreground. (Photograph by Jet Lowe, Historic American Buildings Survey, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division)
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.