Historic Rickwood Field in Birmingham, the country’s oldest ballpark, has been closed for structural repairs.
“The Friends of Rickwood saved Rickwood Field from the wrecking ball way back in 1992,” said Gerald Watkins, Chairman of the Friends organization. “We have raised and invested over $2 million to preserve, maintain, and market Rickwood as America’s Oldest Baseball Park, a Ruthian effort, considering we only have two employees and an all-volunteer board. The unique public-private partnership we have enjoyed with the City has quite frankly given Rickwood an entire extra generation of life as a working museum, and it is certainly our hope we can preserve the park for the next generation.”
As the nation’s oldest ballpark and one of only two original Negro League home fields left standing, Rickwood Field is considered one of the city’s most precious historical artifacts. HAER, the Historic American Engineering Record (a division of the National Parks Service) has authenticated Rickwood’s historical eminence.