Showdown at Rickwood: Ray Caldwell, Dizzy Dean, and the Early Years of America’s Oldest Ball Park

1910-1931

Hard Cover • 400 pages • 71 Photographs

$25

 

BASEBALL — and more.

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This book makes you part of a celebration of the beginnings and growth of a minor league baseball team. Meet some baseball well-knowns and unknowns in this captivating story of a hard-won championship played at the ball park that is now America’s oldest.

  • Time: 1931
  • Setting: Rickwood Field, Birmingham, Alabama.
  • Focus: Baseball championship of the South.
  • More: History of the nation, early 20th century. The book brings to life people and times during an age of war, prosperity, and depression.

 

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“The Great Bull Market crashes and depression settles over the land. In September 1931 an aging pitcher on the downside of his career faces a brash up-and-comer in Game One of the Dixie Series, featuring the Birmingham Barons and the Houston Buffaloes.

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The aging pitcher? Ray Caldwell, a 43-year-old grandfather. New York Yankees manager Miller Huggins once said of this former major-leaguer, “If he had possessed a sense of responsibility and balance, Ray Caldwell would have gone down in history as one of the greatest of all pitchers.”

The up-and-comer? Dizzy Dean. He’s 21 years old, on the brink of a Hall of Fame career.

Journey to Rickwood Field on a fearfully hot day to witness one of baseball’s most celebrated minor league games. Meet people, visit places, and witness events associated with Rickwood Field and a ballgame that resounds across the park today.