The Birmingham Barons were a charter member of the old Southern League in 1885. Built in 1910, Rickwood Field, longtime home of the Barons, is recognized as the oldest surviving, professional baseball park in the nation. The Barons now play at the newly remodeled Regions Park in Hoover, Alabama. In spite of the popularity of football in Alabama, Birmingham continues to be a leader in minor league baseball, winning the prestigious Bob Freitas Award in 2008. This award is given annually by Baseball America to the most outstanding franchise in each classification.
About the Author
Author Clarence Watkins is on the board of directors of the Friends of Rickwood, and he cofounded the Southern Association Baseball Conference with David Brewer. This conference is dedicated to the preservation of the history of Southern baseball. Watkins is also a member of the Triple Play Club and a collector of memorabilia related to the Southern League.
Table of Contents
1 The Old Southern League 9
2 Rick Builds a Real Ballpark 17
3 The Roaring Twenties and the Depression Years 29
4 The Birmingham Black Barons 41
5 The Golden Age 59
6 The Yankees and the Decline 71
7 Charlie O. Takes Over 83
8 Baseball Returns to Rickwood 97
9 The Move to the Suburbs 107
10 The Friends of Rickwood and the Classic 119