The sun came out just in time for the Birmingham Barons 22nd Annual Rickwood Classic  (photo gallery)

Negro League Birmingham
Right to left – Photo of Philadelphia Stars and Stockholm Valve & Fittings baseball teams, Henry Elmore sitting with Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin and Senator Doug Jones at the Rickwood Classic. Photo by Adele Stockham Culp.

Yesterday, tropical depression Alberto moved out of Birmingham just in time to give baseball lovers a chance to enjoy the 2018 edition of the Birmingham Barons 22nd Annual Rickwood Classic.

The Magic City’s Rickwood Field, located at 1137 2nd Avenue West, is the oldest surviving professional baseball park in the United States. Built in 1910, by industrialist and team-owner Rick Woodward the ballpark served as the home park for the Barons and for the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro Leagues.

At 108 years old, Rickwood Field  predates Boston’s Fenway Park (1912) and Chicago’s Wrigley Field (1914). The Rickwood Classic has been an annual tradition for the Birmingham Barons since 1996, with the exception of 2017 when Rickwood Field closed temporarily for structural repairs.

Despite, torrential rain showers in the morning, the weather cleared up just a couple of hours before the first pitch at this year’s Rickwood Classic. The hometown Barons then took care of business and defeated the Chattanooga Lookouts 7 to 1.

Below are photos of the festivities taken by Jeff E. Newman and Adele Stockholm Culp.

Culp’s photos are with former stars of the Negro League and the Industrial League.

Rickwood Field
Preparing the Rickwood Field outfield after torrential morning rainfall. Photo by Jeff E. Newman.
Willie Shine, former player for the Stockham Valve & Fitting Baseball team in the Industrial League. Photo by Adele Stockham Culp.
Negro League Birmingham
Right to left – Photo of Philadelphia Stars and Stockholm Valve & Fittings baseball teams, Henry Elmore sitting with Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin and Senator Doug Jones at the Rickwood Classic. Photo by Adele Stockham Culp.

 

Rickwood Classic
Chattanooga Lookouts players sitting on top of the dugout at the 22nd Annual Rickwood Classic. Photo by Jeff E. Newman.
Birmingham Barons
Birmingham Barons in 1950s vintage uniforms standing during the national anthem at the 22nd annual Rickwood Classic. Photo by Jeff E, Newman.
Photo by Jeff E. Newman.
Sun coming out just before the first pitch. 22nd annual Rickwood Classic. Photo by Jeff E, Newman.
Photo by Jeff E, Newman.
Birmingham Barons and Chattanooga Lookouts
Photo by Jeff E. Newman

 

 

  • Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.