On this day in Alabama history: Birmingham Barons inaugurated Rickwood Field

On this day in Alabama history: Birmingham Barons inaugurated Rickwood Field
View of home plate and the dugout at Rickwood Field. (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)

August 18, 1910

With more than 10,000 fans attending, the Birmingham Barons defeated the Montgomery Climbers in the first game at what is now the nation’s oldest operating ballpark. Rickwood Field was built at a cost of $75,000 by local businessman A.H. “Rick” Woodward and modeled after major league parks in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Appropriate for Birmingham’s status at the time as a steel manufacturing center, Rickwood was the first minor league park constructed of steel and concrete. It was home for decades to the Barons as well as the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro Leagues and continued to be used by the Barons until they left for suburban Hoover in the 1980s. It remains in use today mainly for amateur games and as a setting for baseball-related movies and advertisements. The Barons, now back downtown playing at Regions Field, return once a year for the Rickwood Classic game.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

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