Tuesday, June 2, 2015

RoadTrip to Rickwood Photo Album

So last week I went to the Rickwood Classic. Historic ballpark, throwback uniforms, its an awesome trip that I can't recommend enough. I took a few pics, since the Biscuits are on the road, I guess its a good time to share them!

They post the lineups on a chalkboard near the turnstiles.

The hometown Barons in white and red, visiting Jacksonville wore yellow and black. The theme of the game was 1948.

The Barons pitcher Frankie Montas warms before the game, his 1948 style uni complete with stirrups.

The teams loosened up on the field before the game as a jazz band played "Good Rockin Tonight" and other music of the 40s era.

The Barons are led by shortstop Tim Anderson, a top prospect for the White Sox, he made several great defensive plays in the field.

A few folding chairs served the Barons coaching staff, who watched from in front of the dugout

The dugouts aren't large, but very much "dug out" and below field level, helping keep players cool yet adding a dank, musty feel to the bench.

Only a few guys can get out of the sun in the dugout, the benches were installed in an era when rosters held just ten men.

There are no underground passages to the clubhouse at Rickwood, players must pass thru the crowd when they leave.
While Umpire J.J.January gets a look, Barons catcher Adrian Nieto cradles the ball and Suns third baseman Terrence Dayleg takes the pitch

The Jacksonville Suns prepare to take the field in the bottom of the inning. The old-style crowned field obscures much of the view of the opposing dugout

Players sit on the dugouts and enjoy the afternoon views.

Barons starter Myles Jaye delivers a second-inning pitch, vintage style ads adorn the outfield walls, adding to the feel of the ballpark.

Fans sit under the roof, out of the sun and players are reminded not to wager at Rickwood. 
 Downtown Bham rises in the background in stark contrast to the old ballpark.

The field was in pristine condition for the 20th annual Rickwood Classic.

A ballgame was going on, but it was tough for me to focus on the game. Not so for Suns SP Kendry Flores, who nearly picked this Barons runner off.


Of course I met the guest of honor, former NY All-Star outfielder Darryl Strawberry. He was a friendly and outgoing guy, it was a pleasure indeed.

And yes, I wore my House of David uniform, though the stirrups can't be seen in the pic. I posed for quite a few photos and answered questions about the HOD for anyone who asked.

Swing and a drive.... foul. Brian Fletcher drives a ball hard but foul.

The Rickwood scoreboard is still mostly hand-operated. Volunteers sweat it out in the black metal box, posting run totals and keeping track of the batteries. Balls, strikes and outs are run from the pressbox these days, though the indicator lights are very 1940s.
Brian Ellington pitches in the 7th inning as Jacksonville shortstop Austin Nola patrols the infield.

Along the left-field foul line, the Jacksonville bullpen had plenty of their team's namesake - the Sun. The open fence made it easy to get to know the relievers, who were happy to chat about having learned about the Rickwood just the night before the game.

Barons outfielders Hawkins, May and Marrero confer during a pitching change.

A close play at second as Jacksonville's Kenny Wilson swipes second base, avoiding SS Tim Anderson's tag.

Umpire Adam Beck looks on, about to make the "safe" call.

As the Barons look on from atop their dugout, the Jacksonville team scores three runs late to put the game out of reach. The home team would fall 8-2 in this game.

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