Rickwood Classic

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The Rickwood Classic is an annual "throwback game" played every year since 1996 by the Birmingham Barons against a Southern League opponent at Rickwood Field, the oldest standing professional ballpark in the United States.

Each Rickwood Classic has honored a different era of Barons history, with players and umpires wearing uniforms patterned after those worn at the time. Unlike the Vintage Base Ball game staged by ESPN Classic in February 2006, the Rickwood Classic is a played by the regular roster as a regular season game with contemporary rules; and the result counts toward the league standings.

In 2009 visitors to MILB.com voted the Classic as the most desirable minor league game to attend for the year.


The Barons defeated the Memphis Chicks 3-2 on June 12, 1996 before 10,334 fans.


Game was played June 12, 1997, against the Chattanooga Lookouts.


Game was played on June 4, 1998 with the Barons losing to the Greenville Braves. The Barons wore the uniforms of the 1967 Birmingham A's.


Game was played in June 1999, against the Huntsville Stars. For this game the Barons honored the old Negro leagues.


See main article 2000 Rickwood Classic

Game was played in June 2000, with the Barons losing 5-4 to the Mobile Baybears.


See main article 2001 Rickwood Classic

Game was played in June 2001, with the Barons losing to the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx by a final score of 12-3.


See main article 2002 Rickwood Classic

Game was played on April 25, with the Barons defeating the Chattanooga Lookouts 14-4. The Barons honored the Southern Association championship teams of 1928 & 1929. Former Birmingham A Vida Blue threw the opening pitch before 5,000 fans. [1]


See main article 2003 Rickwood Classic

Game was played June 11, 2003, against the Huntsville Stars. The Barons would win by a final score of 5-1 in a rain shortened game.


See main article 2004 Rickwood Classic

Game was played June 17, 2004, against the Huntsville Stars. The Barons would lose in a slugfest by a score of 8-6. The Barons honored the old Industrial League, teams of the 1930s with Birmingham wearing the uniforms of Sloss Industries and Huntsville representing U. S. Steel.


See main article 2005 Rickwood Classic

The 10th Rickwood Classic was postponed due to rain and was attended by 4,663. The Barons would lose to Montgomery by a score of 6-5. The inaugural Birmingham Barons Hall of Fame inductees, announced at the game, included Piper Davis, Willie Mays, Carlton Molesworth and Rick Woodward.


See main article 2006 Rickwood Classic

The Barons won the 11th Rickwood Classic 3-2 against the Tennessee Smokies. The Barons honored their brief (1953-56) association with the New York Yankees, wearing white uniforms with navy blue pinstripes. The crowd of 4,704 was the second smallest in Classic history. Art Clarkson, Terry Francona, Wayne Martin and Randal Rollin were inducted into the Barons Hall of Fame.


See main article 2007 Rickwood Classic

The Barons won the 12th Rickwood Classic 3-2 against the Jacksonville Suns. The Barons honored their 1960s association with the Kansas City/Oakland A's, wearing yellow uniforms with green sleeves and socks, in front of a crowd of 5,802.


See main article 2008 Rickwood Classic

The Jacksonville Suns beat the Barons 4-2 in front of 7,515 fans at the 13th Rickwood Classic. For the game, the Barons honored their two seasons as an affiliate of the Boston Red Sox (1951-1952). Former Baron Jimmy Piersall was a guest of honor. The Barons wore gray uniforms with "Birmingham" written across the chest in blue script. Their caps featured the red and black Boston Red Sox "B".


See main article 2009 Rickwood Classic

The Mississippi Braves beat the Barons 3-2. The home team wore throwback red, white and black uniforms of the early 1982 Birmingham Barons. The Braves wore powder blue uniforms recalling the Atlanta Braves, who played an exhibition game against the Southern League All-Stars at Rickwood in 1982. Honored at the game was Pete Van Wieren, long-time Atlanta Braves announcer. Sam Hairston, Zipp Newman, Pie Traynor and Glynn West were inducted into the Barons Hall of Fame during the game. Robert Moore sang the national anthem and, with the Wildcarts, performed from the box seats behind home plate between innings. The reported attendance was 7,396.


See main article 2010 Rickwood Classic

The 2010 Barons took on the Tennessee Smokies for the 15th annual Rickwood Classic on June 2, marking the 100th anniversary of Rickwood Field by honoring the 1910 season. The Smokies will honor their 1914 season in Appalachian Smokies uniforms.


See main article 2011 Rickwood Classic

The 2011 Barons defeated the Chattanooga Lookouts 4-3 in the 16th annual Rickwood Classic on June 1, honoring the 1961 season, the team's last outing as part of the Southern Association. Special guest was Hall of Fame pitcher Gaylord Perry. 40 former Negro Leagues players were also honored during the game.


See main article 2012 Rickwood Classic

The 2012 Barons lost to the Chattanooga Lookouts 6-7 in the 17th annual Rickwood Classic on May 30, honoring wartime baseball, specifically the 1942 Barons. Special guest was 2-time National League MVP Dale Murphy.


Main article: 2013 Rickwood Classic

The 2013 Birmingham Barons defeated the Tennessee Smokies 6-3 before 7,268 spectators in the 18th annual Rickwood Classic on May 29, honoring the Negro American League champion 1948 Birmingham Black Barons. Fergie Jenkins was the special guest.


Main article: 2014 Rickwood Classic

The Mississippi Braves defeated the 2014 Birmingham Barons 5-2 before 8,655 spectators at the 19th annual Rickwood Classic on June 25. The Barons honored Birmingham's teams from the "Roaring Twenties". Dwight Gooden was the special guest.


Main article: 2015 Rickwood Classic

The Jacksonville Suns defeated the 2015 Barons 8-2 before a crowd of 7,046 in the 20th annual Rickwood Classic on May 27. The team honored Birmingham's championship 1948 Birmingham Barons and 1948 Birmingham Black Barons clubs. Darryl Strawberry was the special guest.


Main article: 2016 Rickwood Classic

For the 2016 game the 2016 Birmingham Barons dressed as the Southern League champion 1967 Birmingham A's to host the Chattanooga Lookouts. Hall of Fame pitcher Rollie Fingers was the special guest. Official attendance was reported as 7,192.

The Lookouts scored 4 runs in the 2nd inning and cruised to a 7-4 win with a thundershower approaching. Starter Jordan Guerrero took the loss for Birmingham, while Chattanooga's Nick Greenwood struck out four in seven innings to claim the victory.


Due to emergency repairs at Rickwood Field, the 2017 game, honoring "the fabulous fifites," was played in downtown Birmingham at Regions Field on May 31 as a "Turn Back the Clock game". The Barons were dressed in blue and gray uniforms honoring their New York Yankees-affiliated teams of 1953 through 1956. The Chattanooga lookouts also wore throwback uniforms, and the umpires wore white short-sleeve button down shirts with black bow ties.

Lookouts shortstop Nick Gordon opened scoring in the top of the third with an RBI single. The Barons' Nick Basto answered with a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth. Designated hitter Cameron Seitzer doubled on a mishandled fly ball later in the same inning, and then scored on Mason Robbins' RBI single to give the Barons the lead. Starting pitcher Michael Kopech struck out ten batters in 5 2/3 innings. Robinson Leyer picked up a save, striking out four in two scoreless innings to preserve a home victory for the last-place Barons (17-34).

Former Major League center fielder Mookie Wilson, remembered for hittina a 10th inning ground ball that rolled through Bill Buckner's legs to win the 1986 World Series, threw the first pitch and signed autographs for fans. Hall of Fame pitcher Juan Marichal had been scheduled to appear at Rickwood before the event was rescheduled.



External links

Birmingham Barons
Birmingham Black Barons * Managers * Records * Rickwood Classic * Teams
Venues: Slag Pile Field, Rickwood Field, Hoover Metropolitan Stadium, Regions Field
Managers: Harry Vaughn, Carlton Molesworth, Rick Woodward, Phil Cavaretta, Terry Francona
Barons: Jeff Abbott, Wilson Alvarez, Sal Bando, Jason Bere, Vida Blue, Mark Buehrle, Mike Cameron, Joe Crede, Rob Dibble, Ray Durham, Scott Eyre, Rollie Fingers, John Garland, Burleigh Grimes, Roberto Hernandez, Catfish Hunter, Bo Jackson, Reggie Jackson, Howard Johnson, Michael Jordan, Tony LaRussa, Carlos Lee, Rube Marquard, Jack McDowell, Miguel Olivo, Magglio Ordonez, Aaron Rowand, Pie Traynor, Bob Wickman, Bobby Thigpen, Frank Thomas, Robin Ventura
Black Barons: Lorenzo "Piper" Davis, Willie Foster, Willie Mays, Satchel Paige, Willie Wells