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Negro League stadiums, including historical Rickwood Field, you can visit
Negro League stadiums, including historical Rickwood Field, you can visit
Negro League stadiums, including historical Rickwood Field, you can visit

Published on: 06/19/2024

Description

There are baseball stadiums scattered around the United States full of history. There are a handful of fields you can still visit today that were home to teams of the Negro leagues.

The Negro National League was founded in 1920 during a time of segregation in the United States. 

The league gained traction through the 1930s and '40s. In 1944, Jackie Robinson, who played for the Negro League, became the first player in the modern era to join MLB, playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers. 

After that, many more stars from the Negro League were invited to MLB.

LEGENDS OF THE DIAMOND WHO WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN IN BASEBALL HISTORY

Today, many of the stadiums used in the Negro League no longer exist, though there are some that have remained. Numerous fields have been renovated and are still used today for local events. 

One field that is still in use is Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama. This field was home to the Birmingham Black Barons, the team Willie Mays, who died on June 18, 2024, played on before joining the New York Giants.

Rickwood Field is the oldest professional ballpark in the United States, according to the Associated Press.

HISTORY OF MLB: FROM EARLY BASEBALL BEGINNINGS TO MONUMENTAL MOMENTS

Read on to learn about the stadiums around the country that used to be home fields of teams in the Negro leagues.

Downs Field in Austin, Texas, is currently used by the Huston-Tillotson Rams College baseball team, according to MLB.com. 

The Austin Black Senators called this field their home park beginning in 1927, according to Visit Austin.

Today, the park is full of murals by local artists that honor the many prominent players, like Willie Wells, Satchel Paige, Buck O'Neil and Smokey Joe Williams, who played baseball on the field, according to Visit Austin.

This stadium in Hamtramck, Michigan, has gone through changes to bring it to what it is today. 

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Many thought this stadium had disappeared from existence, but a researcher named Gary Gillette discovered that Hamtramck Stadium had been confused with the nearby Keyworth Stadium, according to MLB.com. 

This stadium was built in the 1930s and was the home field of the Detroit Stars and the Detroit Wolves of the Negro leagues, according to the stadium's website.

What had become a rotting and weed-infested field is now fully functional once again. The stadium reopened in 2022 after a $3 million rehabilitation, according to the source. 

J.P. Small Stadium, previously known as Durkee Field and Barrs Field, among others, was home to the Jacksonville Red Caps.

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The field was renovated multiple times over the years. Since 1932, it has been owned by the city. In 2006, a Negro leagues exhibit was added to the property. 

Today, the stadium is used for baseball games as the home field of Stanton College Prep and Edward Waters University. The stadium underwent renovations in 2024, slated to be finished in July.

Rickwood Field first opened in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1910.

For many years, Rickwood was the home field of the Birmingham Black Barons, where players like Paige, Mays and many others, such as Dan Bankhead, the first African-American pitcher to play in MLB, took the field.

The final Negro League World Series was played on this field in October 1948, according to MLB.

Rickwood Field is still operational today.

Bush Stadium in Indianapolis first opened its doors in 1931. Although the field is no longer a setting for baseball games, a unique renovation allowed tenants to live on the property full of history. 

This stadium, which was called Perry Field when it opened, was the home field of the Indianopolis ABC's and Clowns during the 1930s and 1940s, according to MLB.com. 

After many years of no use, Stadium Lofts opened in 2013. The lofts surround the historic field, providing views for residents of the field below.

Cleveland is where you can find League Park, the backdrop of the Cleveland Buckeyes' 1945 Negro World Series win.  

MLB STADIUMS ACROSS US: HOW MANY BALLPARKS HAVE YOU VISITED?

When the ballpark was built in 1891, the Cleveland Spiders and then the Blues played there, according to MLB.com. 

This stadium is still in use today, hosting local baseball games and other events. Here you can also find the Heritage Baseball Museum. 

Head over to Hinchliffe Stadium in New Jersey to see the former home field of the New York Black Yankees.

The New York Cubans and Newark Eagles were other teams who played there.

The stadium has been renovated since its original construction in 1932 and is now the home field of the New Jersey Jackals. The team is part of the Frontier League, an MLB Partner League, according to MLB.

The Jackals played their first game at the stadium in 2023.

News Source : https://www.foxnews.com/sports/negro-league-stadiums-including-historical-rickwood-field-you-can-visit

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