2024 MLB at Rickwood Field

The historic stadium was home to the Negro League's Birmingham Black Barons

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The MLB at Rickwood Field game will take place on June 20 between the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants.

Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Ala., has seen a lot of history in its 114-year existence. The first game played here was in August 1910, making it older than such hallowed grounds as Wrigley Field in Chicago and Fenway Park in Boston. It was the home of the Birmingham Barons and was the first minor league ballpark to be made from concrete and steel. In the 1920s, Rickwood also became home to the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro Leagues, playing at the field on dates when the Barons were on the road.

Baseball legends have taken the field here, including Babe Ruth, Harold "Pie" Traynor, Rogers Hornsby, George "Mule" Suttles, Leroy "Satchel" Paige, Hank Aaron, Ty Cobb, Yogi Berra, Roberto Clemente, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, Jackie Robinson, and Birmingham native Willie Mays.

Now, Major League Baseball (MLB) is paying tribute to the groundbreaking Negro Leagues and celebrating the historic field with a special game on June 20, 2024, that will be between the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants, cities which both had a Negro League team. It will be the first MLB regular season game to be held in the state of Alabama.

"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," Mays told MLB.com. "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."

Preserving History

As the Official Field Consultant of MLB, BrightView is joining with BaAM and Populous to prepare Rickwood for the event, which will also include a minor league and celebrity game. As a field that has seen almost continuous use for more than 100 years, it has seen quite a bit of wear and tear. BrightView will install new dugouts, foul poles, an outfield fence, and padding, as well as completely replacing the existing turf and infield dirt.

With the rich history of the stadium, and even the field itself, BrightView's Sports Turf division will use its expertise and unparalleled work to preserve the legacy of Rickwood.

"The field right now has been loved to death," Murray Cook, President of BrightView Sports Turf, told ABC 33/40. "We just want to bring it back to be more safe and playable for the athletes for now and for the future."

BrightView began work on the field in October 2023. Keep checking back for updates.

Stadium Photo

As of May 2, 2024

Rickwood Field MLB baseball stadium
Photo courtesy of Major League Baseball

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