As the Red Sox celebrate winning the 2018 World Series, I'm reminded of 2004 and the team's first World Series championship in eighty-six years. In Baseball in Alabama, Birmingham native Ron "Papa Jack" Jackson looks back on the team's 2004 playoff run and clawing back from a three-game deficit in the American League Championship Series to clinch the pennant before going on to win the World Series. Great insight and stories!
Another Birmingham connection to Boston: a new Bham company, Vintage Sports, is selling vintage Fenway gear, from old-timey black and whites to cool stuff made from Fenway's old seats. Check 'em out! https://www.vintagesports.com/collections/baseball
Mark your calendars. The Chris Hammond Youth Foundation is hosting its annual golf tournament (November 5) and fund-raising auction gala (November 4) at Greystone Golf and Country Club. The Foundation's mission supports youth sports by installing lights for a field, providing uniforms and equipment, or doing whatever is needed so kids can participate in team sports. To learn more about the Foundation, check out https://www.chrishammondyouthfoundation.com/
Chris Hammond pitched fourteen seasons in the big leagues. He is profiled in Baseball in Alabama: Tales of Hardball in the Heart of Dixie, and, if you'd like to learn more about him, check out the biography I recently wrote about him: https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/233778b7
I'm grateful that Senator Doug Jones stopped by to talk baseball and pick up a copy of Baseball in Alabama.
Cool Baseball in Alabama threads are available. Shirts are $20 apiece, plus shipping. Colors are light blue, white, gray (pictured left), and red (pictured right). If you'd like one, holler!
Lee Peacock just read Baseball in Alabama: Tales of Hardball in the Heart of Dixie and said it was a "must read." Check it out: http://leepeacock2010.blogspot.com/2018/06/baseball-in-alabama-by-doug-wedge-is.html
Check out Rubin Grant's article in the recent Over the Mountain Journal. Spreading the word about Baseball in Alabama: http://www.otmj.com/doug-wedge/
Next Tuesday, May 29, I'll be in Montgomery tying a bib on, savoring a rack of Big John's ribs, and talking baseball before the Biscuits game from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Stop by Dreamland, grab some 'que, and pick up a book!
Good news! Baseball in Alabama: Tales of Hardball in the Heart of Dixie hits shelves on May 28. Some great places are helping to celebrate the book's release. Stop by and see me, pick up a book, and let's talk baseball!
May 30: Rickwood Classic
May 30: Good People Brewing Company @ 5:30 p.m.
May 31: Emmet O'Neal Library @ 2:00 p.m.
June 1: Sundog Books @ noon
June 2: Page and Palette @ 2:00 p.m.
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. "