MLB CONFIRMS: Cardinals and Giants to play at Rickwood Field in 2024

(Rickwood Field)
(Rickwood Field)

Major League Baseball announced today that Rickwood Field—the oldest professional ballpark in the United States and former home of the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro Leagues—will be the site of a special Regular Season contest between the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants on June 20, 2024. The game is scheduled around Juneteenth next year and will include a variety of activities as a tribute to the Negro Leagues and its greatest living player—Hall of Famer, Giants Legend, Birmingham native and Birmingham Black Barons player Willie Mays.

Read on to learn more about the special game.

St. Louis Cardinals vs. San Francisco Giants — June 20, 2024

Rickwood Field
Birmingham’s Rickwood Field from the journalist’s lookout. (Nathan Watson | Bham Now)

With the match hosted at the oldest professional ballpark in the U.S., visitors to the St. Louis Cardinals vs. San Francisco Giants game might think they’ve stepped back in time—especially since on-field personnel for both teams will wear period uniforms highlighting the Negro Leagues histories of both St. Louis and San Francisco!

“Preserving the legacy of the Negro Leagues is vital to growing baseball’s diversity and popularity. Willie Mays, like so many other Negro Leaguers, broke down barriers and paved the way for those of us who dreamt of playing baseball at the highest level. This event helps to link the past, present and future and helps further the cause of attracting a new generation of players to our game.’’ 

Tony Clark, MLBPA Executive Director

Living baseball legend Willie Mays began his professional career with the Black Barons in 1948, and called Rickwood Field home before beginning his legendary MLB career as a member of the New York Giants in 1951.

“I can’t believe it. I never thought I’d see in my lifetime a Major League Baseball game being played on the very field where I played baseball as a teenager. It has been 75 years since I played for the Birmingham Black Barons at Rickwood Field, and to learn that my Giants and the Cardinals will play a game there and honor the legacy of the Negro Leagues and all those who came before them is really emotional for me. We can’t forget what got us here and that was the Negro Leagues for so many of us.

Willie Mays, baseball living legend and former player for the Birmingham Black Barons and the New York Giants

Huge news for Rickwood Field

In order to get Rickwood Field in tip-top shape for the Major League match next year, the MLB will collaborate with the Friends of Rickwood and City of Birmingham to renovate the National Historic Site. Just last week, the Birmingham City Council approved a $553,477 renovation of the field.

“We are proud to bring Major League Baseball to historic Rickwood Field in 2024. This opportunity to pay tribute to the Negro Leagues as the Giants and Cardinals play a regular season game at this iconic location is a great honor. The legacy of the Negro Leagues and its greatest living player, Willie Mays, is one of excellence and perseverance.  We look forward to sharing the stories of the Negro Leagues throughout this event next year.” 

Robert D. Manfred, Jr., Commissioner of Baseball, Major League Baseball

In addition to the Major League faceoff, Rickwood Field will host a Minor League contest between the Birmingham Barons and the Montgomery Biscuits on June 18, 2024. The Birmingham Barons—who called Rickwood Field home during three different time periods—play one game at Rickwood each year in tribute to their history at the field.

Planning to see the Cardinals vs. Giants match at Rickwood Field next year? Tag us @bhamnow to let us know!

Nathan Watson
Nathan Watson

Senior Content Producer at Bham Now

Articles: 820