Barons Announce Details of 2008 Rickwood Classic

(HOOVER, Ala.) - The Birmingham Barons and Jacksonville Suns will face each other in this year's 13th annual Rickwood Classic, May 28.

Rickwood Park in Birmingham is America's oldest functioning ballpark. Its history goes back to 1910, when it was built. Major league legends such as Ty Cobb, Dizzy Dean, and Babe Ruth have played there.

The Barons and Friends of Rickwood announced that former Baron Jimmy Piersall, an outfielder on the 1951-52 teams and 17-year major leaguer, will be in attendance at the game. The first 1,500 fans through the gate will receive a vintage portrait of Piersall from the 1952 season. The Barons have played one game at Rickwood annually since 1996, and as in past years, will pay tribute to a team in Barons history.

This season, the squad will honor the 1951-52 teams that were affiliated with the Boston Red Sox. The uniforms will be gray with "Birmingham" written across the chest in blue script, and the hats will feature the red and black Boston Red Sox "B".

The Jacksonville Suns will wear their uniforms from the 1967 team that featured Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan.

Piersall spent two years with the Barons before compiling a .272 average in 17 Major League seasons, 8 of which were with the Red Sox. He won two Gold Gloves, was a two-time All-Star (1954 and 1956), and received votes in five different American League MVP races, including 1956 when he led the league with 40 doubles and 155 games played. He led the Barons with a .346 average, 30 doubles, and 12 triples in 1950.

The Barons hold a 7-5 record in the Rickwood Classic and have won the contest each of the last two years.