Music - When the levee breaks by Led Zeppelin
Photographed in September of 2016 using digital.
I would like to thank my friend David Brewer for graciously allowing me to photograph this jewel of a park. If you stop by Rickwood, David should be there. Tell him I sent you!!!!
Rickwood Field - Opened in 1910 and still in use. Location - 1137 2nd Ave. West Birmingham, Alabama.
Welcome to the oldest surviving professional baseball park left in the United States. Located in the heart of Dixie, Birmingham Alabama.
Baseball from a bygone era. Rickwood field was the home for the Birmingham Barons for 77 years. Rickwood field is located at the corner of Second Ave. West and 11th St., west. Rickwood is a short distance from legendary Legion field, the onetime part time home to the University of Alabama. Many Iron bowl games between Alabama and Auburn were played at Legion field.
Built in 1910 by Barons owner Rick Woodward, it was patterned after Forbes field in Pittsburgh. The Barons were not the only major tenant. The Birmingham Black Barons played here from 1920 thru 1960. The Black Barons had some great players from the old Negro league. Bill Foster, "Double duty" Radciffe, Lyman Bostock, Sr., "Piper"Davis, Satchel Page, and a local boy from nearby Westfield Alabama. You may have heard of him. His name is Willie Mays.
The Barons had their share of great players grace the field at Rickwood. Vida Blue, Reggie Jackson, Sal Bando, Darrell Evans, Burleigh Grimes, Howard Johnson and Pie Traynor were just a few of the future stars of major league baseball that played in Birmingham.
The Barons finally left Rickwood field after the 1987 season. Basically, the city of Birmingham had not taken care of Rickwood. It was in dire need of repair. They moved to a brand new facility in nearby Hoover Alabama. Hoover metropolitan stadium may be new, but it will never match the memories or old time baseball feel of Rickwood field.
Enter the "friends of Rickwood." Since 1992, this group has been painstakingly restoring Rickwood to its former glory. The old press box on the roof behind home plate had to be torn down, due to the fact it was falling apart. They have done a great job bringing the old park back to life.
In 1994 the move Cobb was filmed at Rickwood. Tommy Lee Jones played the notorious Ty Cobb and Robert Wuhl played writer Al Stump. Robert Wuhl was also in the movie Bull Durham. That movie was filmed at the Durham Athletic park in Durham, North Carolina.
If you find yourself in Birmingham Alabama with an hour to kill, drop by Rickwood field. It will bring you back to old time baseball. You can sit in the stands and imagine Satchel Page on the mound, or an 18 year old Willie Mays running in center.
I am so glad someone decided to do something about Rickwood field and NOT let it fall to the wreckers ball. Let's hope that some group up in Detroit does the same thing, and saves Tiger stadium from being reduced to rubble.
A view of the visitors clubhouse. This clubhouse is usually not open.
A rare look at the Umpires dressing room.