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On the House Floor, Rep. Sewell Recognizes MLB’s Tribute to Negro Leagues at Rickwood Field

U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07) spoke on the House Floor to recognize Major League Baseball ahead of their “Tribute to the Negro Leagues” at Rickwood Field in Birmingham. (Office of Terri Sewell)

The Birmingham Times

On the House floor this week, U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell recognized Major League Baseball’s Tribute to the Negro Leagues at historic Rickwood Field in Birmingham, which begins Tuesday, June 18 and culminates June 20 with the San Francisco Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals playing a regular season game.

Sewell will also host a Black Entrepreneurship Roundtable at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute on June 20 with members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Built in 1910, Rickwood Field is the oldest professional baseball field in the United States and for 36 years served as the home to the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro Leagues.

“For decades, the Black Barons were a beacon of excellence in Birmingham’s community … and between 1943 and 1948, racked up a win percentage of more than 60 percent and captured three Negro League pennants,” Sewell said. “At the height of Jim Crow segregation, the success of the Black Barons at Rickwood Field galvanized and united Birmingham’s Black community. The stands were always overflowing with fans eager to cheer on their favorite team.”

Rickwood Field has hosted a number of baseball legends including Willie Mays from Fairfield, Alabama; Hank Aaron from Mobile Alabama; Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson, Josh Gibson, — all in the baseball Hall of Fame — and The Reverend William Greason, a former Black Baron who, at the age of 99, continues to serve as pastor of Bethel Baptist Church Berney Points.

“As we gather to celebrate Juneteenth, I can think of no more befitting time to honor the Negro Leagues,” Sewell said. “I look forward to welcoming Major League Baseball and my colleagues of the Congressional Black Caucus to Birmingham, Alabama, for a time of reflection and celebration.”

Sewell’s “Closing The Black Wealth Gap” roundtable on Thursday at BCRI will feature a panel discussion that will include Rep. Steven Horsford, Chair of the CBC; Rep. Yvette Clarke, Vice Chair of the CBC; Steve Benjamin, Senior Advisor to the President and Director, White House Office of Public Engagement; William Barnes, President and CEO, Birmingham Urban League; Naila Jackson, Director, Network Navigator; and Bob Dickerson, Executive Director, Birmingham Business Resource Center.