What to know about Rickwood Field ahead of Giants-Cardinals game

What to know about Rickwood Field ahead of Giants-Cardinals game originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Baseball is returning to its roots in a unique way.

The San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals will head to at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Ala., for a special regular-season matchup on June 20. The venue is the former home of the Negro Leagues’ Birmingham Black Barons and stands as the country’s oldest professional ballpark.

Before the Giants and Cardinals play in Birmingham, here’s everything to know about Rickwood Field:

Where is Rickwood Field?

The field is located in Birmingham, Ala.

When did Rickwood Field open?

Rickwood Field opened on Aug. 18, 1910.

How did Rickwood Field get its name?

The field is named after former Birmingham Barons owner A.H. “Rick” Woodward. A newspaper decided the name of the stadium in 1910, combining the owner’s first name and part of his last name.

What is Rickwood Field’s capacity?

The stadium seats 10,800 people.

Who played at Rickwood Field?

Rickwood Field was home of the Birmingham Black Barons from 1924 to 1960. It was also the Spring Training home for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1911 and 1920 and the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1919.

Two all-time baseball greats played home games at Rickwood Field during their Hall of Fame careers.

Willie Mays began his professional career with the Black Barons in 1948 when he was just 17 years old before heading to Major League Baseball in 1951. He would spend 21 seasons as part of the Giants organization, moving with the team from New York to San Francisco.

Satchel Paige also started his pro career in Birmingham and was a Black Baron from 1927 to 1930. The legendary pitcher is widely considered the greatest Negro Leagues player of all time.

Other Rickwood Field facts

Rickwood Field was the first ever minor league ballpark to be constructed from concrete and steel.

In addition to hosting baseball games, the ballpark has also been used as a filming location for baseball movies, including “Cobb,” “Soul of the Game” and “42.”

Rickwood Field games 2024

The Giants and Cardinals will face off at Rickwood Field on Thursday, June 20, with first pitch set for 4:15 p.m. PT. The matchup will air on FOX.

The Birmingham Barons, the Chicago White Sox’s current Double-A affiliate, and Montgomery Biscuits, the Tampa Bay Rays’ Double-A affiliate, will also play at Rickwood Field on Tuesday, June 18. The teams will honor the legacy of the Negro Leagues by playing their matchup as the Birmingham Black Barons and Montgomery Grey Sox, who joined the Negro Leagues in 1920 and played in Montgomery until 1932.