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Cardinals, Giants to play at Rickwood Field in Birmingham next June


Major League Baseball announced on Tuesday that Rickwood Field in Birmingham will be the site of a Regular Season contest between the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants. The game is on June 20, 2024. FOX will provide national coverage of the game that Thursday at 7 p.m. EST or 6 p.m. CDT.

Rickwood Field is the oldest professional ballpark in the United States and is the former home of the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro Leagues. MLB in a press release said the game will include a variety of activities as a tribute to the Negro Leagues and its greatest living player, Willie Mays. Mays is a Birmingham native, former Black Barons player and National Baseball Hall of Famer.

Major League Baseball and City of Birmingham

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

The Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro Leagues played in Rickwood Field from 1924 to 1960. Mays began his professional career with the team in 1948 before beginning his MLB career with the New York Giants in 1951.

Mays said he could not believe the news.

“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 said in an online statement. “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.”

MLB said it 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. The 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.

Rickwood Field will also host a Minor League contest between the Birmingham Barons and the Montgomery Biscuits on June 18, 2024. The field was home of the Barons during three different time periods: 1910-1961, 1964-1965 and 1981-1987.

Additional activities surrounding the games at Rickwood Field will be announced at a later date.

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