1940 – 1949

1940

The Birmingham Black Barons joined the Negro American League. The next decade would see many Negro League Hall of Famers grace the field in Birmingham.

1940

Former Birmingham Black Baron Satchel Paige always drew a crowd.

1941

Future Hall of Famer Jimmy Foxx homers at Rickwood.

After a 15 year hiatus, football returned to Rickwood as Birmingham hosted the Vulcan Bowl, the national Negro College Football Championship.

1947

The left field scoreboard is moved to increase the chances of hitting a homerun at the field.

1948

Walt Dropo thrills the Birmingham faithful. Birmingham Barons set the all-time Southern Association attendance record of 445,926. This record is all the more impressive given that only actual attendance was counted (not season ticket holders), and the total population of the Birmingham area was approximately 440,000.

1948

Birmingham’s Lorenzo “Piper” Davis led his Black Barons to league championships. One of his decisions was to start high schooler Willie Mays, who would have the game wining hit in the 1948 league championship game.

1948

The great Willie Mays makes his debut at Rickwood Field when he is still in highschool. Even though he was too young to go on the road with team, his Rickwood exploits showed flashes of a career that many feel earned him the repuration as the greatest baseball player in history.

1948

1948 Birmingham Black Barons star Artie Wilson was the last professional player to hit over .400

1949

Barons program highlights Rickwood’s far reaching dimensions

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