In 1967, Reggie Jackson played part of the season in AA ball in Birmingham for the Kansas City Athletics. In Birmingham, he posted a .293 batting average, .562 slugging percentage, and 17 home runs one of which streaked out of the stadium over the right field grandstand. He played in Rickwood Field that had opened in 1910.
But in 1961, after a long history of baseball, Rickwood Field went dark. The Southern Association to which the Birmingham AA club belonged held firm to segregation. The Association was entrenched in its southern past, and Rickwood Field grew to weeds as professional baseball vanished from Birmingham rather than integrate. But, thankfully, within a few years minds changed, and Charlie Finley brought colorful green and gold uniforms with white spikes to Birmingham and baseball began anew with renewed excitement.
And so it was that Reggie Jackson came to Birmingham for that brief spell on his way to World Series and the Hall of Fame. And for those of us who watched him that summer in his gold and green uniform racing across the outfield grass of Rickwood Field and striding confidently to the plate from the on-deck circle, we will never forget him.