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St. Louis Cardinals And San Francisco Giants To Play At Rickwood Field In 2024

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ST. LOUIS CARDINALS AND SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS TO PLAY AT RICKWOOD FIELD IN BIRMINGHAM, AL, JUNE 20, 2024, LIVE ON FOX

America’s Oldest  Professional Ballpark to Host Special Regular Season Game in Tribute to The Negro Leagues and Its Greatest Living Player, Birmingham Native, Willie Mays

On Tuesday, June 18th, Rickwood Also Will Host Minor League Contest Between the Birmingham Barons and Montgomery Biscuits

Major League Baseball today announced 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. This experience, scheduled around Juneteenth next year, 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. FOX will provide exclusive national coverage of the game between the Cardinals and Giants on Thursday, June 20, 2024, airing at 7:00 p.m. (ET)/6:00 p.m. (CT). 

Rickwood Field logo

“We are proud to bring Major League Baseball to historic Rickwood Field in 2024,” said Commissioner of Baseball Robert D. Manfred, Jr. “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.” 

“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,” said Willie Mays.  

“Preserving the legacy of the Negro Leagues is vital to growing baseball’s diversity and popularity,” said MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark. “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.’’ 

MLB will collaborate with the Friends of Rickwood and City of Birmingham to renovate Rickwood Field for 2024, transforming the National Historic Site in order to host a Major League game. Additionally, Rickwood Field will host a Minor League contest between the Birmingham Barons and the Montgomery Biscuits on June 18, 2024.  The Barons called Rickwood Field home during three different time periods (1910-1961, 1964-1965, 1981-1987). Each year, the Barons play one game at Rickwood Field in tribute to the organization’s history there. Additional activities surrounding the games at Rickwood Field will be announced at a later date.

The Major League contest will be a home game for the Cardinals. On-field personnel for both teams will wear period uniforms highlighting the Negro Leagues histories of both St. Louis and San Francisco.

The history of Rickwood Field is unmatched, with some of the game’s greatest players stepping foot on its hallowed grounds. These players included Mays, Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks, Cool Papa Bell, Yogi Berra, Roy Campanella, Oscar Charleston, Roberto Clemente, Joe DiMaggio, Larry Doby, Rube Foster, Lou Gehrig, Josh Gibson, Monte Irvin, Reggie Jackson, Buck Leonard, Biz Mackey, Mickey Mantle, Connie Morgan, Stan Musial, Satchel Paige, Frank Robinson, Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth, Duke Snider, Toni Stone, Cristobal Torriente, Honus Wagner, Willie Wells, and so much more. Rickwood Field is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro Leagues called Rickwood Field home from 1924 through 1960. As a teenager, Mays began his professional career with the Black Barons in 1948. He played with them before beginning his legendary MLB career as a member of the New York Giants in 1951. Rickwood Field was the site of the final Negro League World Series game in October 1948, which saw Mays’ Black Barons falling to the Homestead Grays in five games.

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“I am so excited that Birmingham will be able to share the magic and legacy of Rickwood Field with Major League Baseball’s millions of fans. America’s oldest professional ballpark still echoes with the sounds of the legends who graced this field. I want to thank Major League Baseball for sharing this vision to commemorate Juneteenth and celebrate the Negro Leagues in the Magic City.” — Randall L. Woodfin, Mayor of Birmingham

“We are honored to host such a historic event at Rickwood Field. The players and fans will truly step back in time when they arrive at America’s Oldest Baseball Park. The Friends of Rickwood look forward to next summer’s celebration as we join MLB in paying tribute to the great Willie Mays and the legends of the Negro Leagues.” — Gerald Watkins, Friends of Rickwood

“The Cardinals are excited to join with the Giants in playing at historic Rickwood Field next season,” said Cardinals’ Chairman Bill DeWitt, Jr. “Birmingham, Alabama has a rich history of baseball, and has hosted Cardinals legends such as Stan Musial, Dizzy Dean, Joe Medwick and Rogers Hornsby over the years. We are looking forward to this historic showcase of baseball in the South that celebrates the great heritage of the Negro Leagues, minor league baseball, and of course the iconic Willie Mays.”

“The Giants are honored to have the opportunity to go to Birmingham, Alabama, and play in the very place that Willie Mays and so many legends of the Negro Leagues began their baseball careers. To connect our past with the present is so important to our organization and going to such a historic and iconic place as Rickwood Field will allow us to do just that while also connecting with fans and communities outside of our regular Major League cities,” said Larry Baer, Giants President and CEO.

“Rickwood Field has played a significant role in the Birmingham community for over a hundred years and we’re thrilled to be a special part of this event in 2024. Since 1996, we’ve participated in the Rickwood Classic, a special MiLB event honoring legendary players and teams along with connecting generations of baseball fans and providing a wonderful, vintage baseball game at America’s Oldest Ballpark.  We thank Major League Baseball and the City of Birmingham for their work in continuing this tradition in such a meaningful way.”  Jonathan Nelson, President & General Manager, Birmingham Barons

“We are excited to have the Biscuits return to Rickwood Field in 2024.  This is an amazing opportunity for our fans, players, and staff to experience this unique venue and piece of baseball history.” Michael Murphy, General Manager, Montgomery Biscuits

One thought on “St. Louis Cardinals And San Francisco Giants To Play At Rickwood Field In 2024

  • Thomas Hall

    We need to do everything possible to recognize the contributions of black ballplayers to the game of baseball. This is certainly a step toward doing this!

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