Alabama Barons

From Bhamwiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Catcher Jamie Boyle models his Alabama Barons uniform for general manager Kenny Gonzalez (left) and field manager Roy Mewbourne (right) at Rickwood Field. Photo by Charles Nesbitt

The Alabama Barons were a short-lived professional baseball team which played in Art Peterson's "Freedom Baseball League" for five games in 1978. The league was wholly owned by Peterson, a resident of Falls Church, Virginia. The other three teams were all located in the vicinity Washington D.C.

Birmingham-Southern Panthers coach Roy Mewbourne was hired to manage the club. Kenny Gonzales was general manager and the 18-man roster, culled from a total of 65 players who tried out, featured a number of undrafted college graduates, mostly from Alabama. The other teams' rosters also mixed in several former professionals looking for another chance.

The league opened play for a planned 35-game season on July 2 with the Barons defeating the Washington Senators 10-9. The Barons also swept double headers on the following two days at Rickwood Field. With Peterson unable to close a deal with the owners of RFK Stadium, he was forced to suspend play with only those five games in the book and the visiting Barons cooling their heels in a Washington hotel.

The two other teams never played. The Barons, at 5-0, became the de facto champions of the aborted league. The Barons' star player was Alan Robinson, a 6-foot-4 infielder who went undrafted out of Memphis State. In five games he got seven hits in 13 at-bats for a .538 average with 2 home runs, nine runs, and 5 runs batted in.

The players were promised a $700 a month salary and were due half of that when the league folded.



External links