Rickwood Field

This is the oldest baseball park in America. Rickwood Field was the passionate pursuit of a young Birmingham industrialist, Rick Woodward.

Woodward soon opened Rickwood Field up to another Birmingham team: the Birmingham Black Barons. African-American baseball fans could now go to Rickwood and watch "their" own team play at home, in a prestigious ballpark famous throughout the baseball leagues.

Woodward allowed the Black Barons to play every other week at Rickwood; the white Barons team would play on the alternating week.

Despite the inclusion of the Black Barons, race relations were not rosy at Rickwood. Black fans were allowed to attend white Barons' games, but could not sit with white fans. African-American fans sat in a separate set of stands behind the outer right field wall.

Every other Sunday, though, the roles reversed. When the Black Barons played, the African-American fans flooded the park. Black fans filled the park; they sometimes had to set up extra bleachers on the grass inside the outfield walls just to accompany all of the fans. Any white fans who showed up to watch the great baseball being played by the Black Barons and their opponents found themselves sitting in the separate set of bleachers past right field, just where African-American fans had to sit during Barons' games.