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A Field of Dreams: Utah baseball team plays at Rickwood Field

Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 6:34 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Jeremy Thomas still can’t believe that his 14-year-old baseball team played in the oldest ballpark in America on Wednesday.

“When I first saw it, it gave me the chills because I new players like Willie Mays played here,” said Jeremy Thomas.

Thomas is the manager of the Utah County Barons Academy, a team from Utah that traveled more than 1,700 miles just to play where the Birmingham Black Barons once called home.

“We named our club after the Barons and we wanted them to understand the reason they were named the Barons and the history behind it,” Thomas said.

“I’m glad we get to play with this name and that we get to play here that so many Hall of Famers did,” said Utah Barons outfield A.J. Thomas.

From the scoreboard to the dugout, the players said the coolest thing about Rickwood Field was standing where so many legends once played.

“This is a great opportunity. This is really cool to be playing on a field where 100 plus Hall of Famers played,” said Utah Barons infielder Noah Brady.

“I’m honestly shocked, it’s an honor to be here and be where all these Hall of Famers and professional players have played,” said Utah Barons pitcher Chase Johnston.

The Utah Barons and the Birmingham Black Barons may not share the same team colors, but the name “Barons” now has a new meaning for the teenagers now on the field.

“They kind of represent how to go through struggle with strong and heart,” Johnston said.

“For them to understand the history behind it and what some of those players had to go through to get the game where it is now for me, I want them to understand the culture and importance of that,” Thomas added.

The Utah Barons will now travel to Atlanta for a tournament this weekend.

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