Monday, January 23, 2017

Rickwood, Old Skitz pics, Gelks & Minor

is scant and far between.

This just in, ca 1904
Some season ticketholders are being warned of the likelihood of extra netting being installed at some point, affecting sightlines and views from the stands. If you are gonna be irked sitting behind a net that wasn't there last year, you should check with the ticket office about the availability of seats elsewhere. Nothing official. Yet. Just sayin.

Get a job with the Biscuits when they hold their annual job fair in February. However there may be one gig that is possibly unavailable. The vacated position of season ticket concierge is not a lock to be filled, sources say.

Since I don't have a whole lot of fresh info on the team, I thought I would share a couple of things I ran across that may interest Biscuits fans.

Back in 2005 the Biscuits were supposed to face the Barons at the annual throwback game but Mother Nature refused to cooperate. A rain soaked field was deemed unplayable and the Montgomery team has never been invited back. For whatever reason I have found it almost impossible to find any photos of that day, but recently uncovered a couple of gems from that rainout.

Who do we have here? Biscuits relax and wait in vain for the field to dry

The uniforms are classic throwbacks to the original opening day of Birminghams brand new Rickwood Field in 1910. Yes those two teams matched up in the first contest at the now venerable yard. On the hill for the 2005 version of the long standing rivalry was Biscuits ace James Shields.

"Big Game James" Shields at the Rickwood for Montgomery

Rickwood Parking opening day 1910
The date has been announced for this years Barons throwback game, May 31st. Its a wednesday and the guest of honor is Hall of Famer Juan Marichal.

A fantastic day is in store for all those who enjoy baseball the way it should be played and meeting a legend like Marichal makes it even sweeter.

My opinion on Birmingham's Rickwood Classic, the annual throwback game at the oldest minor league park in the nation? It's one day a year, with a special character everyone wants to see and everyone is full of joy for the game - its baseball Christmas!

I enjoy it so much I was interviewed last year, skip to about 4:05 for the weirdo in the House of David uni!

Two passings of local note recently, Harry Minor and Greg Jelks.

Harry Minor
Harry Minor came to Montgomery in 1956 when the integrated double-A team was sent packing mid-season and replaced with a lower level, segregated Little Rock club.

Harry had appeared with the Little Rock Travelers in '55 and was in his second tour with the team when politics, civil rights and baseball collided in Montgomery that summer.

Though he would only reach triple-A as a player, Harry Minor made a name for himself after his playing career as a scout, most notably the NY Mets 1986 Champion squad. Harry was instrumental in the Mets acquiring Dwight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, Mookie Williams and Lenny Dykstra and worked with the NY Mets for over 40 years.

Greg Jelks, a Centre Alabama native, had just ten games in the show with the '87 Phillies and garnered just one lone MLB hit. Greg played in eight minor league seasons but enjoyed much more success and popularity as a professional ballplayer in overseas leagues.

Jelks with Perth
Earning dual citizenship during his time playing in Australia during the 1990s, Greg made his home in Perth and coached as well as played for the Australian baseball team that won silver in the 2000 Olympics at Sydney.

Greg Jelks was known as a baseball legend in his adopted country. On receiving the news the Perth Heat, his former Austrailian team, honored him before a recent home game with a pregame ceremony - then the Perth starter tearfully buried a Jelks baseball card in the dirt behind the mound before starting the game.

ca 1926

As part of my unplanned Dr.Miraculous Speaks 2017 lecture tour, I will be offering a presentation on The History of Baseball in Montgomery to the Alabama Parks and Recreation Association's annual conference.

I was honored to be asked to speak and on Monday, January 30th at 1pm I will share my baseball history knowledge for an hour in the Capitol I room at the Renaissance Hotel downtown, just a block from where the Southern League founders held their first organizational meeting in the 1880's.

Its tough to condense a city's baseball history into one hour and cover all the good stuff. I will try to focus on Montgomery's sometimes rocky relationship with baseball, the games connection to the growth of the city and nearly-forgotten stories of players and teams past.

Although this event is for APRA members only, I am always happy to speak for groups on the history of baseball in our area, just hit me up!

1 comment:

MN said...

I have a few pictures I took of Rickwood 2005 somewhere. I will save them for you when I uncover them from my digital dumpster fire of files.