After being drafted in the first round by the Chicago White Sox in 1987, Jack McDowell soon found himself in Birmingham and with the Sox's Double A team, the Barons. Some of McDowell's first memories in professional baseball are taking the mound in Birmingham's Rickwood Field. Going on to win the 1993 American League Cy Young Award, McDowell offers a generous review of Baseball in Alabama: Tales of Hardball in the Heart of Dixie:
"Part of my first year in pro ball was in Birmingham, Alabama. I played in Rickwood Field, its last full-time season as home to the Barons. I remember hearing about all the history at that park, all the guys who played there like Willie Mays and Satchel Paige. Reading this book brings all that history back to me . . . and more. Doug Wedge does a great job of telling you about the Alabamians who made their mark in the big leagues and shares good stories about college and minor league ball in Alabama. Check it out. "