A commemoration of the Rickwood Field centennial will be held on Wednesday, August 18, beginning at 3 p.m. The event, hosted by the Friends of Rickwood Field (FRF), will begin at the same time that the Barons opened play against the Montgomery Climbers on August 18, 1910, in the irst game ever played at the ballpark. The Barons came from behind that day to beat the Climbers 3-2 in front of a crowd of nearly 10,000.
The centennial ceremony will include an open house with self-guided tours from 3-3:45 p.m.
A special on-ield program will begin at 4 p.m. hosted by Gerald Watkins, FRF board chairman. Speakers at the program will include Birmingham Mayor William Bell and A.H. “Rick” Woodward III, grandson and namesake of the park’s builder.
The State of Alabama will unveil a new historic marker, and the Red Mountain Theatre Company will present baseballthemed readings and playlets between speakers, while wearing period baseball uniforms.
At 4:30 p.m., there will be a 3-inning game featuring players from the Great South League, a collegiate wooden bat summer league. The game will end promptly at 6 p.m., according to Brewer, and will be decided by a coin toss if necessary.
The event will also feature exhibits by collectors of baseball memorabilia and book signings by authors who have written about Rickwood or about baseball in Birmingham, including Allen Barra and Clarence Watkins, a member of the FRF board and author of the pictorial history Baseball in Birmingham (Arcadia Press).
The event is free and open to the public. Rickwood Field is located at 1137 Second Ave West. Normal park hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. For directions and further information, call (205) 458-8161 or visit www.rickwood.com.