On our way home from dropping the girl (our daughter Lora) off at college, we stopped at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama. As most of you know, I am a huge baseball nut, whether it is the game, the history or most importantly, the ballparks.
Rickwood field, home of the Birmingham Barons, is the oldest professional ballpark in America. The history of this field is quite extensive, a bit more than I want to go through on this site. It served as a minor league affiliate for a number of Major league teams. A few famous players that have played here include Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, Ty Cobb, Burleigh Grimes, Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Walt Dropo, and Reggie Jackson. Black Barons sensation Satchel Paige battled Josh Gibson, Cool Papa Bell, and other legends of the Negro Leagues. And a 16-year old rookie from Birmingham named Willie Mays led the Black Barons to their 1948 Negro American League championship here.
There are many other players that have rolled through here as opponents. Most recently, the ballpark is a museum demonstrating and era of ballpark construction that takes me back. It is also used as the backdrop to a number of movies, including "Cobb" and "42."