Beyond the Build


The Legacy of Rickwood

For several years, Major League Baseball has been hosting a regular season game at the location of the movie Field of Dreams. Birmingham will be host for the MLB game this year at Rickwood Field, America’s Oldest Baseball Park. The St. Louis Cardinals play the San Francisco Giants on June 20th, to coincide with Juneteenth, and the game will be aired nationally on Fox starting at 6:15 CST.

This year’s game honors Hall of Famer Willie Mays and the organization that gave him his start, The Negro Leagues. Mays was first part of the Birmingham Black Barons who played at Rickwood before he moved on to the Giants where he played most of his career. We are all proud of Willie’s legacy and the role the Black Barons played in sports integration. Whenever you might be visiting here, find out more at the Negro Southern League Museum.

At Rickwood, we have had the privilege to work with this landmark twice. The first project was building a historically accurate scoreboard, and the second was repurposing a landmark, the 1928 Birmingham Southern Railroad Freight Depot, and converting it into batting cages. This month, the batting cages will serve as the VIP area for the MLB’s visit to our hometown. We look forward to celebrating the legacy of Rickwood, the Negro Leagues and Birmingham.

Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.