Birmingham’s Roy Wood Jr. Among Personalities Featured in Rickwood: The Soul of Birmingham, Honoring Legendary Ballfield and Negro Leagues  

NEW YORK, June 6, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — America’s oldest professional ballpark is not in New York, Chicago or Boston.

It is Rickwood Field, founded in 1910 in Birmingham, Alabama.

Rickwood, host to nearly 200 members of the Baseball Hall of Fame, was the site of the 2013 movie “42” about pioneering baseball legend Jackie Robinson, and is the former home of the Negro Leagues’ Birmingham Black Barons – which in 1948 signed a 17-year-old Willie Mays. On June 18, 2024 it will host a Minor League Baseball game featuring the Montgomery Biscuits and the Birmingham Barons – honoring the Negro Leagues legacy by playing as the Montgomery Grey Sox and Birmingham Black Barons. This will be followed on June 20 by a special Major League Baseball contest at Rickwood between the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants.

But first, as the nation prepares to celebrate Juneteenth, a new documentary honoring and exploring the history of Rickwood and its original hometown team debuts June 11 exclusively on the Very Local app, available to stream for free on all mobile, tablet and connected TV devices.

Rickwood: The Soul of Birmingham, produced by Burning Sands Productions, explores the legacy and determination of the Black Barons and their fans to overcome injustices in what was once among the country’s most segregated cities, and even offers a roadmap for towns across America faced with tough decisions about their aging ballparks. Among local luminaries offering reminiscences in the documentary are area natives including former U.S. Sen. Doug Jones and popular actor and comedian Roy Wood Jr.  

“This story is told through the voice of Rickwood Field,” said Laura Ling, VP, programming at Very Local. “It may be an inanimate object, but it comes to life to share stories of the ghosts of the past and the promise of tomorrow. Rickwood is the real ‘Field of Dreams.'”

“The magic and history of Rickwood Field may surprise even the most knowledgeable baseball fan,” said Michael Fountain, the documentary’s executive producer. “When a visitor sits in the bleachers behind home plate and looks out at the field, one can’t help but take a trip back in time and visualize the greats that played or coached on that field.”

Hearst Television’s Birmingham station, WVTM-TV, also will air a special this month, Rickwood Field: A Return to Glory, which will also be available to stream on Very Local.  

About Very Local
Very Local is the only streaming service that brings you closer than ever to your hometown and beyond, offering 24/7 access to local news, weather, documentaries, original series and more. A subsidiary of Hearst Television, Very Local is the exclusive streaming home for local news from all Hearst Television news stations serving 27 media markets. For more, visit verylocal.com, or find the FREE Very Local App on mobile, tablet and connected TV devices including Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Roku and VIZIO.

About Hearst Television
Hearst Television owns and/or operates 35 television and two radio stations serving 27 media markets across 39 states reaching over 22 million U.S. television households. Through its partnership with nearly all major networks, Hearst Television distributes national content over more than 120 video channels including programming from ABC, NBC, CBS, CW, MY Net, MeTV, Estrella and more. The radio stations are leaders in Baltimore news/talk and rock music listenership. Its Hearst Media Production Group unit produces original programming across linear and streaming platforms for domestic and international distribution. Its Very Local app, free to download on household OTT devices and available across popular streaming services, offers 24/7 access to local news, weather and an array of local and regional programming. Hearst Television is recognized as one of the industry’s premier companies and has been honored with numerous awards for distinguished journalism, industry innovation, and community service. Hearst Television is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hearst.

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SOURCE Very Local

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