A visit to Rickwood Field in recent weeks has meant seeing a structure being constructed out in foul territory around short left field where a metal shed once stood. Construction continues, with hopes of it being mostly complete in time for next week Wednesday’s Rickwood Classic between the Birmingham Barons and the Mississippi Braves, but they’re in need of $25,000 to do so.
The building, a train depot formerly located in downtown Birmingham along 14th St. N., has been given a new lease on life as a batting cage for America’s oldest ballpark. It was seen as a win for preservationists who’d wanted to see the structure preserved as part of a new Alagasco operations center after its demolition had been approved by the city’s Design Review Committee in January. The plans for the building were announced shortly after demolition had begun this spring.
Alagasco has worked with general contractor Stewart Perry Construction and the nonprofit organization the Friends of Rickwood on the building’s move — one that will include being used by Birmingham city high schools and Miles College. A Razoo donation page has been set up for several weeks now, and the campaign has one week left. They’re asking for people to share the link and the story with as many people as possible.
The Barons won their home opener, defeating the Mississippi Braves 9-5 in front of a sell-out crowd at Regions Field last night. This scoreboard, located down the first base line, tells part of the story (and is one of two nods to Rickwood Field picked up by die hard baseball fans visiting the park last night); the Barons website tells the rest. Among the highlights was the go-ahead, tie-breaking two-run home run by Marcus Semien.
Yeah, it was ready for its close-up.
Posted in Sports
Photo: sunflowers at Railroad Park. Dystopos/Flickr.
Several people have received emails in recent days linking to a survey that is part of a privately financed study to “determine the feasibility of building a new ballpark in downtown Birmingham that could become the new home of the Birmingham Barons minor league baseball team.”
There has been several hints in recent years that some people would like to see the Barons return to playing within the city limits of Birmingham.
In April, the Birmingham Business Journal told readers that approximately $40,000 in private funds had been put up for the study.
Several reports last summer mentioned the Merita bakery across from the soon-to-be completed Railroad Park in Birmingham’s Southside was a possible location, though not specific site has been suggested in the 27-question survey. The story received new attention in January when Birmingham City Councilor Johnathan Austin suggested that the city providing additional financial support for a survey.
Photo: Baseball. theseanster93/Flickr
The Birmingham Barons announced early this morning that they’ll be hosting auditions for those wanting to sing the National Anthem before home games this season early next month.
According to the notice on Facebook the tryouts will be held on Monday, March 8 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at Regions Park in Hoover.
For those keeping track, there are only 44 days left until minor league baseball returns to metro Birmingham on April 8 against the Mudcats. If you can’t wait that long to see some baseball at “The Reg” (and it could be too long for some) or to hear some games on the radio, you can always head on over there to watch the Crimson Tide play the Georgia Bulldogs on March 3. The game, which won’t count in the SEC standings, is currently set for a 6:35 p.m. first pitch.
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Tagged AL, Alabama, B'ham, Barons, baseball, Birmingham, Hoover, information, National Anthem, performance, Sports, tryouts
Today the Birmingham Barons announced who their special guest would be for the 15th annual Rickwood Classic.
Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame first baseman Harmon Killebrew will be in attendance at the game, part of plans to celebrate the 100th anniversary of America’s oldest ballpark, is currently scheduled to be held on Wednesday, June 2 starting at 12:30 p.m. The announcement was posted on the Barons’ website earlier this afternoon.
The Barons, wearing their uniforms from their 1910 season, will host the Tennessee Smokies. The visitors will wear uniforms from the 1914 season when they were known as the Appalachian Smokies.
The game’s considered one of the best minor league games in the country and it was recognized as the best via a poll conducted on milb.com last season. Incidentally, the Barons are also looking for folks to submit their memories of Rickwood Field for use in the 2010 programs, including via their Facebook group.
Photo: Harmon Killebrew, 573 HR. NJ Baseball/Flickr