Everything you need to know about the MiLB at Rickwood Field game

June 18th, 2024

One of the biggest events on the Minor League calendar has arrived: MiLB at Rickwood Field.

Minor League Baseball and Major League Baseball are celebrating the Negro Leagues with a four-day event in Birmingham, Ala., home of the oldest professional ballpark in the sport.

On Tuesday, the Double-A Birmingham Barons (White Sox) have the hosting chores, dressing as the Black Barons against the Montgomery Biscuits (Rays) as the Gray Sox. The names and uniforms pay homage to legendary Negro League teams that often played at Rickwood Field.

Here's what you need to know ahead of the latest chapter in Rickwood Field's storied history:

When is the game and how can I watch it?

Birmingham and Montgomery will play at 7 p.m. ET (6 p.m. local time), and the game will be available on MLB Network, MLB.TV, MLB Pipeline and MiLB.com.

What is the history behind Rickwood Field?

Rickwood Field finished construction in 1910 and was the first Minor League stadium to be built with concrete and steel. Initially the home of Birmingham Barons of the Southern Association, it began hosting the Birmingham Black Barons of the Southern Negro Leagues in 1920. More than 180 future Hall of Famers have played at Rickwood Field, including then-17-year-old Birmingham-area native Willie Mays, who starred in the final Negro League World Series in 1948. More »

Who were the Birmingham Barons and Montgomery Gray Sox?

The Black Barons and Gray Sox (also spelled "Grey" Sox) began in the 1920s and played each other in exhibition and official Negro Southern League games. Several Hall of Famers played for these franchises, including Mays, Satchel Paige and Norman "Turkey" Stearnes. More »

What is the capacity of Rickwood Field?

Rickwood Field has undergone millions of dollars of renovations since it's original capacity of 10,800. For MiLB at Rickwood -- and the MLB game on June 20 between San Francisco and St. Louis -- the ticketed-seating capacity will be about 8,300.

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Who are the notable players on Birmingham?

Right-hander Jairo Iriarte (CWS No. 9) is likely to take the mound for Birmingham. The Venezuela native has a fastball that touches 100 mph and has enabled him to strike out 73 batters in 65 innings this season. Right-handed reliever Anthony Hoopii-Tuionetoa (CWS No. 28) has a fastball nearly as dominant and has registered an 0.89 ERA in 18 relief appearances across two levels.

The Barons have several hitters who rank among the best in the Southern League. Catcher Edgar Quero (CWS No. 4/MLB No. 94) tops the circuit in RBIs (46) and stands second in homers (11) while infielder Brooks Baldwin (CWS No. 24) leads the league with 78 hits. Outfielders Wilfred Veras (CWS No. 25) and Jacob Burke (CWS No. 30) provide power and speed respectively.

Who are the notable players on Montgomery?

Chandler Simpson (TB No. 10) tied for the Minor League lead with 94 stolen bases last season and already has 48 in 54 games this season after reaching base at a .418 clip so far. Shortstop Carson Williams (TB No. 2/MLB No. 15) is the most talented hitter on the team -- he leads the Southern League with a .928 OPS -- but has been out since June 12 with a bone bruise after getting hit on the right wrist. Catcher Dominic Keegan (TB No. 5) ranks sixth on the circuit with an .818 OPS, while infielder Willy Vasquez (TB No. 15) and outfielder Mason Auer (TB No. 23) are excellent defenders.

Left-hander Ian Seymour (TB No. 18) is the likely starter and has been dominant in his first full season back from Tommy John surgery. He has a 2.04 ERA with 79 strikeouts in 70 2/3 innings and tops the league with an 0.78 WHIP. Out of the bullpen, fellow southpaw Keyshawn Askew (TB No. 29) sports a tricky sidearm delivery that has produced a 2.63 ERA with 31 K's in 27 1/3 frames.