It is hot in Alabama. Spitefully hot. Recent rains have turned the grassy parking area at Rickwood Field into beef stew.
I exit my truck and step directly into a mud hole that reaches clear up to my shins.
A guy in the parking lot says, “They didn’t pave parking lots a hundred years ago, and the folks at Rickwood are all about preservation.”
I enter the ancient ballpark with muddy shoes. I pass through the antique turnstiles. I visit the concession stand and order a Coke. And I fall backward in time by about 112 years.
Rickwood Field is the oldest professional ballpark in the United States. It is a small park, seating roughly 11,000. Being here feels like walking into a James Earl Jones monologue.
These stands were built when William Howard Taft was still sleeping in the master bedroom of the White House. This press box was getting nailed together while the Titanic was still being constructed.
Today, there is a travel-ball game being played, so the park is filled with parents wearing team T-shirts and tennis shoes. But I can’t see these people.
Instead, wherever I look I see ghosts in fedoras. Women in A-line dresses. Kids flat caps and knickers. I see handlebar mustaches, spats, watch fobs, and bags of penny peanuts.
I take a seat behind home plate. The sun is brutal. But the Coke is sweet enough to break your jaw. And I’m now living in 1910, the year before my grandfather was born. The year Halley’s Comet visited the earth.
The boys are warming up. Pitchers are loosening their arms. The outfield billboards feature classical ads from a former era. “Drink Pepsi 5¢.” “Try Coca-Cola—relieves fatigue.” “Budweiser—with meals and lunches.”
This park is located 7 miles from my front porch, and yet I’ve never visited it. In fact, many people in Birmingham have never even heard of this ballpark. When I asked people how to find it, nobody seemed to know what on earth I was talking about.
“Rickwood WHAT?” said the clerk at the gas station.
“Rickwood Field,” I said.
She shrugged. “Is that a NASCAR thing?”
It’s a shame. Because this ballfield is majestic. The monumental steel-frame light towers sit atop riveted cross beams that form the awning for the seating area. The folding seats are as old as the Polo Grounds.
This baseball park is wholly different from the modernized Disneyland stadiums of today. This place is gritty, worn out, and every surface is covered in pancake layers of patina.
“This whole park was put together using hot rivets,” says Randy Ferguson, a volunteer with the Friends of Rickwood, the non-profit that maintains this park.
Randy is a tall, white-haired man in a ballcap. He speaks with a thick Alabamian drawl and smiles a lot. He points hither and yonder, spouting off dates and random factoids. In 1931, this. In 1919, that.
Right now Randy is putting on a show for a group of travel-ball middle-school boys from Kansas City.
The boys are clad in all-white uniforms, stained with clay, wearing knee-high stirrups. Randy is letting them handle an antique Hillerich & Bradsby bat, the same kind Jackie Robinson used.
Randy says, “Raise your hand if you know who Jackie Robinson is.”
The boys unanimously raise their hands.
Which I find remarkable. These kids exist in an iPhone and TikTok generation. And yet everyone knows who Jackie is. Because that’s the thing about this sport, our history is sacred.
Randy lets the boys visit the locker rooms. He give them a peek into the preserved manager’s office. The boys smirk at the 1930s pinup calendar beside the roll top desk. The kids try on antique mitts. They weigh antiquated baseballs in their little hands.
When Randy walks the boys through the narrow tunnel leading to the infield, everyone falls silent. There is something about the energy here. Something is different. It’s as if we are now standing on holy ground.
“This tunnel,” says Randy, “is the same tunnel Willie Mays walked through. Raise your hands if you know who that is.”
All hands raise.
I touch the smooth tunnel walls, and I’m thinking about how Ty Cobb, Houns Wagner, Josh Gibson, Leroy “Satchel” Paige, “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, and a guy named George Herman Ruth Jr. once stood right here.
They would have been dressed in traveling grays. Sweating in the Alabamian heat. Tightening the laces on their cleats.
Hank Aaron stretched his hamstrings in this corridor. So did Bo Jackson, Roy Campanella, and Mickey Mantle. Ray Caldwell, last of the spitballers stood here.
So did “Mister October,” “the Say Hey Kid,” Duke Snider, Lou Gehrig, and the miracle that was Ted Williams.
“This park our heritage,” Randy says to the kids. “This park is a snapshot of our nation’s history.”
He’s absolutely right, this place is America in a nutshell. This is our game. This is our culture. Baseball is as American as Abe Lincoln’s beard.
It’s national anthems on lazy afternoons. It’s brass bands playing Sousa. It’s hotdogs. It’s Red Barber, Vin Scully, and Harry Caray, Skip Caray, and Chip Caray. It’s our ancestry, our present, and our future. It’s Blacks and whites and Latinos and everyone who ever had the gall to hold a bat.
“Sad thing is,” Randy goes on, “you’d be surprised how many folks in Birmingham have never heard of Rickwood Field.
“That’s why I always say, the best thing anyone can do is tell your friends about this place. Don’t let history die. Tell everyone you know to come visit us.”
Well, Randy. I’m telling as many as I can.
Steve Winfield (lifer) - July 24, 2022 7:52 am
The first time I went there was 1973. A rock concert. The Edgar Winter Group. A #1 instrumental song called Frankenstein. The openers were The James Gang, (Joe Walsh), and (Peter) Frampton’s Camel. Draft beer was a quarter. Saw at least a dozen other concerts there. Skynard, Kiss, Bob Sugar.
The place has history.
Steve McCaleb - July 24, 2022 9:10 am
Great story. Great history. Great memories. Where else in the world can you sit and draw on old recollections of Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb and Willie Mays & Henry Aaron having once played on that sacred field ? And then remembering Skynnard, Kiss, Joe Walsh and Peter Frampton sharing the same venue. Talk about a diverse history! First saw a game there over 50 years ago when the Barons were an Oakland A’s farm club. Those were fun days. Just to show you how much things have changed……I recall going to a Black Oak Arkansas/ Ruby Starr/ Grey Ghost concert at The Fairgrounds. Opening act was some “new guy” named Charlie Daniels. Your $5 ticket also included supper as you went in the gate. As soon as you cleared the gate, your were given a cardboard plate with a bbq chicken quarter, a big scoop of baked beans, 3 slices of Sunbeam’s best AND 2 cans of Budweiser’s finest. Trust me, NOBODY was checking IDs. Happiest band of teeny boppers I ever saw. Bizzaro
Debbie - July 24, 2022 9:31 am
Thank you, Sean. I love history like this, especially about beautiful Alabama. I love Alabama. 🙋♀️
Anita Smith - July 24, 2022 9:57 am
I have never been a baseball fan-until now
Ed (Bear) - July 24, 2022 10:13 am
The gas station clerk’s NASCAR comment, kinda reflects how our current culture easily sees the big things but can overlook the important little ones. Life is in the details. Thanks for shining your light on the wonderfully good and inspiring details! I enjoyed my virtual visit to the old Alabama ballpark.
Russ Davis - July 24, 2022 10:31 am
I lived in B’ham for a year and my wife was born and raised there. I never had a clue that Rickwood Field existed. Will have to make time visit on our next trip back. Thanks for the great story Sean.
Paul McCutchen - July 24, 2022 11:08 am
I have a cousin I visit in Hoover and I don’t remember if I have been to Rickwood Field. I will have to check it out next time I’m there.
Al - July 24, 2022 11:29 am
Love the articles. Sean of the south is an amazing writer. We haven’t a similar writer since Gizzard.
His stories are everyday humor and real life that all can relate to. Look forward to his columns each morning.
Dan Jnes - July 24, 2022 11:36 am
I used to go to Rickwood to watch the Barons when I was a teenager and get a “Rickwood”. That was the name for their hotdog with mustard only. Fun memories! You should go to legion field next. I played in the 1965 “Dental Clinic” game there. There was also the “Crippled Children’s Clinic” game held there also. It has a history also but you know that.
Marianne Bryan - July 24, 2022 11:47 am
Love memories of Rickwood Field. Went there for two summers , 1945-47 with my dad….Barons baseball. Big deal… Sat right behind home plate several times..!!!! Sweet times!
Cheri Michele Foster - July 24, 2022 11:56 am
I wish I lived closer. But I have a brother in Birmingham. I’ll share this with him. 😀
Bob Barnett - July 24, 2022 11:57 am
Great memories of that place. My friends grandfather “Papa Floyd” would load up four young boys and take us to games there. I still eat hot dog with mustard only on them because of that place.
sjhl7 - July 24, 2022 12:07 pm
Love this! You bring it all alive! Thank you, Sean.
Nell Thomas - July 24, 2022 12:25 pm
Enjoyed the back in time to ” The old ball game.”
I have fond memories of Birmingham. My grandfather, step grandmother and aunt lived there. That was mom’s side. My dad also had a slew of kin that lived in B’ham. Mom would take us by train on occasion. The “Southern” was a exciting ride from Meridian to see the folks and of course – “the “Ironman.”
I often wonder about “Kittyland Park”. If it met it’s Waterloo or maybe still around like “Rickwood Field.”
My aunt was an avid baseball fan. Outstanding player herself in her younger years. I am sure she was very familiar with Rickwood. Everyone is gone now- but not the childhood memories that you got all stirred up this Sunday morning. Thank you.
Anita Bosley - July 24, 2022 12:38 pm
Sean, I remember going there as a little girl. I was born in 1958. Went with my Daddy and Grandaddy a few times. Daddy was from the sticks of Missouri. Knew nothing about baseball. They played basketball, and as a giant back then at 6-feet tall, he was the star of his high school team.
But my Grandaddy loved baseball, so Daddy would go with him. Grandaddy died when I was 6, but he bought me a huge red plastic bat and whiffle ball and we played in the backyard in Ensley, where they lived.
Thx for the memory!
Richard Owen - July 24, 2022 12:46 pm
Not being a big baseball fan (not even the Braves even though I am in an Atlanta suburb) and don’t usually read to the end your stories about baseball. BUT this one resonated with me. Thanks for the history lesson.
Denise Walker - July 24, 2022 12:53 pm
I was born just 60 miles north of Birmingham (Cullman) and have never heard of this wondrous place. I will visit this part next time I’m in Birmingham. (How do I find it?)
David - July 24, 2022 4:08 pm
1137 2nd Ave W
Starr - July 24, 2022 1:05 pm
Lived years in Birmingham and never heard of it. Thanks for the history. I’m a baseball fan.
Nancy - July 24, 2022 1:05 pm
I’ve not heard of Rickwood Field, and now I have it on my bucket list. Let’s not forget Rogers Hornsby and Tony Lazzeri.
Bill Dyson - July 24, 2022 1:16 pm
Sean, you left out Dizzy Dean–great pitcher and great announcer. Who can ever forget, “He slud into second!”?
Jimmy Harris - July 24, 2022 1:29 pm
Memories, Good Stuff!! Moved to Birmingham on new job in ‘84. This was the home of the Barons before their move to Hoover. Took my sons to numerous games over those years. They would often play in “period” uniforms…now that’s when the “Field of Dreams” would come alive to a real baseball fan! Memories, Good Stuff!!!
Dee Thompson - July 24, 2022 2:07 pm
Love this one Sean, for a very personal reason. My grandfather Bob Hasty played for the Birmingham Barons for three seasons, including the 1928 pennant winning team, and he pitched in the 1931 Dixie Series championship, against a young Dizzy Dean. You can read all about Rickwood in an excellent book called Showdown at Rickwood, available on Amazon. My friend Art Black researched it meticulously and it should be read by anyone who loves baseball like you do, and/or who lives in Birmingham.
Jack Barry - July 24, 2022 2:17 pm
Thanks for a great article! I have many happy memories of going to Rickwood Field with by dad back in the early ’50s to watch the Barons play. We especially enjoyed seeing the big league teams play exhibition games vs. the Barons as they made their way north after spring training in Florida. It was a huge thrill to see Mantle and Ted Williams take batting practice before the games. I also recall seeing Jimmy Piersal when he played for the Barons after being demoted from the Red Sox because of his mental illness antics. He did some weird stuff in B’ham too. Some years later, as a high school football player we played some of our games at Rickwood Field after Legion Field no longer hosted Friday night high school games because they tore the field up too much for the Saturday afternoon Alabama and Auburn games. I hated playing on that red clay infield at Rickwood – it was like playing on concrete. I’m so pleased to learn that the venerable old field is being preserved. Thanks for the memories, Sean!
David Britnell - July 24, 2022 2:18 pm
Enjoyed reading this awesome history!
john dendy - July 24, 2022 2:45 pm
Very nice, thanks. Here’s a couple of excerpts from a memoir I wrote for my kids…
….. Inside the veneered cabinet, the vacuum tubes were the size of jelly jars and hot enough to raise a blister. Later, I was able to buy a small radio for my own room and would retire there to be immersed in a baseball game while my parents listened to their own programs. The only regular broadcasts were from the Birmingham Barons (at the time, a Boston Red Sox farm club) and – strangely – the Brooklyn Dodgers. So, along with many other boys from the Alabama hills, I became a devoted fan of “dem bums” of Brooklyn. That loyalty lasted thirty years, ending only after both of us moved to California and I saw a Dodgers game in person for the first time. Dem bums had turned into beach bums – they seemed to be only “playing at playing.” Back in the days of Peewee Reese, Gil Hodges, Jackie Robinson, and Duke Snider, the players hustled and tried to play the game as it was supposed to be played – at least, that’s the way it sounded over the radio.
But not if there was a thunderstorm anywhere in the vicinity. Even when the skies were clear overhead, the radio would break into loud static if there was a storm within fifty miles. My father complained that every time Walter Winchell or H. V. Kaltenborn was saying something important about the war situation, lightning would strike somewhere nearby.
… but my true love was baseball – listening to it, trying to play it, going to the local sandlot league games between teams sponsored by the Power Company and other local businesses. Then on one magic night, Dad drove us to Parrish to pick up a new friend, and then to Birmingham to see a professional game. My friend had never been to the city; when we stopped on the way for a hamburger, that experience also proved to be new and special for him. Darkness had fallen by the time we reached Rickwood Field, the home of the Barons. Here, Billy and I were on equal terms – neither knew what to expect. Dad paid for the tickets, and as we walked up the ramp together toward the seating level, the green grass began to come into view. Illuminated by the bright lights, it glowed with an emerald, iridescent purity which I am certain that poor little double-A baseball field had never truly experienced. The white bases and baselines defined the dark wet soil of the base-paths. And then the whole scene came to life with color and motion when the players came out on the field. It was one of the magic moments in my life.
I have no idea who won that game. We ate hot dogs, watched every play, and had a grand time. But that iridescent green field is permanently etched in memory. They call it a diamond, but on that magic occasion it was an emerald.
BW Bus - July 25, 2022 12:27 am
John……..s great memoir… lovely to read
Betty Green - July 24, 2022 2:57 pm
I spent many Friday nights there as a kid with my parents to watch the Birmingham Barons.
Paul Alge - July 24, 2022 3:16 pm
In the late 60’s and early 70’s I played (sat the bench ) summer ball at the old Admiral Mason park that stood in the area of the Pensacola civic center. It was demolished in 1974 Progress? It was Pensacola’s single A team The Dons field. I think they were the Washington Senators affiliate. It was a magical place. I can still here the sound of Cleats echoing in that tunnel. It had a unique smell. It smelled of leather popcorn old wood tobacco juice summer and time. I can still smell it sometimes. So with that being said Sean I want to see this field in B’ham. And smell it. And maybe go back in time like you did. Thanks
Patricia Gibson - July 24, 2022 3:43 pm
How wonderful ! I will have to visit!
Chuck Steiner - July 24, 2022 3:58 pm
fortunate to have played baseball on Rickwood as a high schooler… such memories. That was a life highlight! Also, when the Birmingham nine were a farm team for the Oakland A’s, a soon to be World Series champion Oakland squad played an exhibition game at Rickwood. I was in a photo taken by the Birmingham News in frame with an Oakland coach named Joe DiMaggio – another life highlight! That day I saw my heroes play – Reggie Jackson, Rollie Fingers, Sal Bando, Bert Campaneris, Dave Duncan, etc…
Yes, Rickwood is a treasure.
Thanks for your piece on Rickwood – as usual, so well done!
Ree - July 25, 2022 2:31 am
I spent the summer of 1967 watching all those guys. Young, in love with my soon to be husband, and a dedicated fan of the Birmingham A’s, a night at Rickwood was the best time ever. Remember Reggie’s grand slam homer in the bottom of the ninth? What treasured memories. I am amazed that so many people have never heard of Rickwood. I must go back for a visit.
THOMAS WALLIN - July 24, 2022 4:14 pm
Sweet story. I love baseball too. Thanks for letting me know about this. I will be making a trip to visit from Miramar Beach, Florida ( you know where that is – LOL). It is very cool they are restoring this piece of history so future generations can see it. Thanks for the heads up.
Arnold Kring - July 24, 2022 4:49 pm
I was a student at Auburn University circa. 1953-56, milking cows on the campus dairy farm (50 cents per hour) twice a day, seven days a week, and I used to listen to Birmingham Barons baseball games from Rickwood Field. The announcer was Gabby Bell. When the Barons were losing and needed a rally, Gabby would call on all the thumb pullers “out there”, hoping collectively it would start a rally. Sometimes it did, and sometimes it didn’t. I am now 90 years old, but still remember it like it was yesterday!!
MagnoliaEmy - July 24, 2022 4:52 pm
Yes, when we lived in Birmingham in the 1980’s we saw lots of Southern League games there. What a wonderful old park, so glad to hear it’s being kept up. I love these classic parks Rickwood, Wrigley pre lights, Engel in Chattanooga. Baseball history is my passion.
Elfin Carver - July 24, 2022 5:31 pm
When I was a kid and my father took us to games, after the games we were allowed on the field to run the bases. A memory I will always treasure, along with the sound baseballs made bouncing on the roof when fouled off.
Hartwell Lutz - July 24, 2022 6:16 pm
I’ll be 90 this week, and my first memory of Rickwood was in 1946, hitch hiking from Huntsville to Barons games. I’m glad it’s still there and that Birmingham still has the Barons and that Huntsville now has the Trash Pandas in the same league.
wfsuga - July 24, 2022 6:47 pm
God, l love Rickwood Field. I’m a baseball nut and discovered Rickwood and the Barons when I was a law student at Samford in the late 70s. Made one of my lifetime best friends there. He, a mutual friend, and I were scheduled to go to a Barons game for quarter beer night. The mutual friend had to cancel at the last minute, but the promise of quarter beer all night was enough of a draw for young guys who were two relative strangers to decide to go anyway. By about the 4th inning (and many quarters lighter) we forgot the other guy was even supposed to be there. We have been close friends ever since. I fondly recall that story every time I think of Rickwood. Cheers, Scoot. What a special, memory filled place.
Anna Shaffer - July 24, 2022 7:11 pm
Thanks. We’ll be visiting….
Karen - July 24, 2022 7:13 pm
Such a great history. I hope to visit one day.
Scarlett - July 24, 2022 8:22 pm
I grew up within walking distance of Rickwood Field I was born at the hospital near the field in 1956. Both of my grandparents lived only blocks from there. I recall my Dad saying he went to the park almost daily when games were played. He saw all of the famous players that you mentioned. When they broke a bat, he took the pieces home to save and my Grandmother threw them away, thinking they were trash.
I saw MANY little league games, the Clydesdale horses, and concerts (Lynyrd Skynyrd) at Rickwood. Since I’m from Birmingham, I just assume everyone knows about it. The neighborhood that I lived in is called West End and it was such a great place to grow up. Thanks for spreading the word about such a treasure. Love you Sean.
Linda Moon - July 24, 2022 8:24 pm
A few days ago I got a phone-call from one of my kin. “Guess where I am”, she said. I didn’t guess right, so she told me, “I’m riding around in your old neck of the woods”. And I just read that Sean of the South has been riding around near Rickwood Field, there near my childhood neck of the woods. Two visitors near my homeplace in one week…what could be better than that other than the majestic history of Rickwood told here by Sean!
Tawanah Fagan Bagwell - July 24, 2022 8:30 pm
I believe they filmed the movie Cobb there. I knew people who went as extras to sit in the stands in period clothes. They had cardboard people each extra would take with them to make the crowd look larger.
Ernie in River City - July 24, 2022 9:42 pm
My bride was born in Birmingham and lived there until she was 12. She and her dad would regularly visit Rickwood field to see the Birmingham Barons. Your story triggered very sweet memories for her. Thank you.
JonDragonfly - July 24, 2022 10:04 pm
I am struck by the many comments and memories about going to the ball game with your parents.
I don’t think the real thill was in baseball or even the hot dogs. The best part was doing something with Dad.
David S Doom - July 25, 2022 2:25 am
I was fortunate to attend Birminham Barons games at Rickwood Field in the 70’s and 80’s. You had a since of history when you entered and got to see players who later made it to the majors, like Howard Johnson and many others. Outside the entrance was an older black lady hawking her “Jimmy Carter peanuts, get your Jimmy Carter peanuts here”. In the 50’s I got to see Atlanta Cracker’s games at the old Ponce de Leon park in Atlanta. Great Memories!
David S Doom - July 25, 2022 4:10 am
In the 70’s and 80’s I got to see Birmingham Barons games at Rickwood Field. I also got to see the Atlanta Crackers at Ponce de Leon Park in Atlanta. Seeing young players playing for a chance to fulfill their dreams of making the majors inspired me to hope my non-talent skills could somehow develope into being a star.
William R Philen - July 25, 2022 4:21 am
The 2013 movie “42” about Jackie Robinson had scenes in the movie that were filmed at Rickwood Field. If you are a baseball fan and haven’t seen the movie you may want to check it out. One of the actors in the movie is Alabama’s own, Lucas Black, from the Cullman area.
Henry drake - July 25, 2022 2:47 pm
I was born in 1938, so it was the mid forties before I knew about Rickwood,. We lived in the Redmond garden apt. In English village and there was a radio repair shop there. It put a tv in the window(black and white) at night and left it on to show the baron games. The sidewalk was always crowded with kids watching the games. My intro to rickwood. Can you guess what a treat for me when I finally got to go to a game. The barons were a farm team for the red socks, so I did see a great many players who went on to the majors. Not Williams, he went right back to the socks after the war. Also as an adult I went back when the barons would play one game there. I was at legion field when a friend asked if I could find rickwood. His father had been a minor league umpire,and had called his last game at rickwood. I found it for him, much to my surprise. Guess I’m glad I’m not old enough to have the really old memories, but the ones I do have are very good.
Rogers Alley - July 25, 2022 3:49 pm
I’ve been to the Rickwood Classic before. Barons and another Southern League team wear throwback uniforms. It’s really worth a visit.
Gail Sims - July 25, 2022 4:04 pm
Grew up about 2 blocks from Rickwood. Beautiful article which brings back precious memories of childhood and a mom as well! Thank you for such an opportunity to go back on time!
Jay B. Myerson - July 25, 2022 4:59 pm
Excellent column. I believe my son-in-law pointed it out to me a few years ago when we were en route to see the minor league All Star game in a much newer stadium. Going down to visit next week. Hope to stop by with my 5 year old granddaughter
Gray Waddell - July 27, 2022 2:03 pm
Great article… I admit I got a little “misty eyed” reading it. I’ve been there many times. My first experience was watching the AA Barons play there in the mid-late 80’s. I’ve since visited a few times to watch the Rickwood Classic, a game where the Barons and their opponents don “old timer” uniforms and the atmosphere is taken back to a particular era of baseball. My favorite trips back to the park were when practically no one was there and I got to experience it as the museum that it is. I too imagined the ghosts and history. I no longer live in the area, so it’s been a number of years since I’ve visited Rickwood. I love that place
Suzanne Scivley - July 27, 2022 3:03 pm
Thanks, Sean. I have so many memories of Rickwood Field. Mine are mostly from concerts in the late 1970s!
Forest - July 27, 2022 8:01 pm
Enjoyed your short Rickwood piece. Haven’t read your novels, but perhaps I need to pick one up.
BMc - July 27, 2022 10:22 pm
My Father in law who was from Jasper played a game at Rickwood when he was a boy. He was so proud of that I think more than fighting in the Korean War or his kids🤪.
Brant Riley - July 28, 2022 1:55 am
I love Rickwood Field. I went there as a child in the late late 50’s to watch the Barton’s. I also enjoyed your article.
Jean Spradlin-Miller - July 28, 2022 12:48 pm
Thanks for the great article! I love baseball. It’s in my DNA. We’d visit my grandmother in Baltimore every summer, and she always had an Orioles game on TV. My uncle even took us to Memorial Stadium to see them play. I was so lucky to see Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, and Boog Powell playing — the Orioles in their glory days! Anyway, thanks for the article. Most people in Birmingham don’t know how lucky we are to have Rickwood Field here!
Kit - July 28, 2022 9:19 pm
Wow! A place memory from my youth in Birmingham circa the 1960s. What a great place!
Mike Davenport - August 1, 2022 8:39 pm
Sean: My first job was at Rickwood in 1961. I sold cokes for $0.10 and made $0.01 per sale (on a good night, I’d make $2.00 to $3.00.)
We’d get to the park early and sometimes played “catch” with the Barons. Alan Koch took three of us to a Frosty Top root beer one afternoon and treated us.
I saw Howie Koplitz pitch a no-hitter and Harmon Killebrew hit one over the right field stands.
I’m still working, but that was the best job I ever had!
CHARALEEN WRIGHT - August 2, 2022 4:39 pm
Julie Primmer - October 8, 2022 2:13 pm
My family bleeds red, but ours is because of the St. Louis Cardinals. I can tell you just about anything you want to know about The Redbirds, but until now, I knew nothing about the Rickwood Barons. Thank you, Sean, for another wonderful story. I love everything you write, and this one is no exception. Baseball is an American family tradition. Not only is it closely tied to us in a very personal way, but it is also tied to history. Often referred to as America’s National Pastime, baseball has had a very active role is the shaping of this nation. God Bless America, and God Bless Baseball ❣️🇺🇸 ⚾️ 💙
Harryette Miller Burnette - January 10, 2023 4:08 am
This story sound so very familiar; I’m now 74, but the things I most remember are the things I did when I was the ages between 5 & 10 yrs. old. My mother had passes when I was 6, and much of the time I spent with neighbor kiddo’s playing in each others’ yards & going to the corner grocery store with soda bottles to exchange for penny candy & then go home to play in a huge orchard in the back of our house. We would play there until it was almost dark & then get to the fronts of our homes & play hide & seek until we heard our parents calling our names to come in & get your bath. A nightly summer affair; but just a couple times in the winter, maybe just once if it was “really” cold winter.