(New York) Major League Baseball will pay tribute to the Black Leagues by hosting a game between the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama on June 20, 2024.
The 10,800-seat stadium was opened in 1910 and remains the oldest professional baseball stadium in the United States in addition to being a National Historic Site. The stadium was the home of the Black Barons of Birmingham from 1924 to 1960.
During this match, a tribute will also be paid to the legendary Willie Mays, who is from Birmingham and who began his professional career with the team in 1948.
The Cardinals will be the home team. Special uniforms associated with the history of San Francisco and St. Louis in the Black Leagues will be worn by members of both teams.
Mays, 92, is considered baseball’s greatest living player. After playing in Birmingham, he signed with the New York Giants and was voted the National League’s Most Outstanding Rookie in 1951, helping the team win the National Championship.
A World Series champion with the Giants in 1954, Mays was invited to the All-Star Game 24 times, tied for second with Stan Musial for the most invitations. Only Hank Aaron was invited there more often (25).
Mays won the batting championship in 1954 and was named the National League MVP in 1954 and 1965.