This is a book about Birmingham's legendary ball park, Rickwood Field, and so much more. It is a story of the people and events of the early 1900s: the Titanic, World War I, the Roaring Twenties, Lindbergh's flight across the Atlantic, Lindbergh's visit to Birmingham, the 1929 stock market crash, and the Great Depression. These events, along with tales about early Birmingham, put the story of Rickwood Field and its people into historical context. A reception and book signing will follow the program. Books will be available for purchase.
Art Black's exciting new book, Showdown at Rickwood, weaves a tale of baseball in Birmingham in the early 20th century, with a tale of the city and its people. Its climax is the historic matchup in the Dixie Series between a kid named Dizzy Dean, soon to be a star, and aging former major leaguer Ray Caldwell. Joining Art will be former Birmingham News sports writer Wayne Martin for an inside look at aging Rickwood and those who were there during the years after Dizzy Dean, including NBA star Michael Jordan. Playing for the Barons in 1994, Jordan turned the eyes of the nation on Birmingham baseball. Wayne Martin started watching baseball at Rickwood in 1953, and covered the team for 25 years. He was the first newspaper reporter elected to the Birmingham Barons Hall of Fame. It's a little dessert to top off the baseball feast that has Art Black's Showdown at Rickwood as its main course.