BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Baseball fans of all ages gathered to see history in the making on Wednesday night.
The fans viewed the first pitch, the first hit and the first game at the Birmingham Barons’ new field, Regions Field.
Fans came from all across the nation – some as far as Virginia – to see the Barons open the home portion of their schedule.
“That’s a memory that’s going to last forever,” Virginia resident Caynor Smith said. “I called my son and asked him if he could get off work so he could come down with me.
“I know that history is being made today with [Regions Field] having opening day – the first time there’s ever been a game at this location. We couldn’t’ be a part of history in the past, but we can be a part of history today.”
The game also brought in fans from other parts of the country.
Melissa Sigrist grew up watching the Boston Red Sox play baseball. She’s been in Birmingham for a while, but now she’s even more excited to watch the Barons play ball.
“When I moved down to Birmingham I was excited to find baseball, [but] totally disappointed that none of the fans in the area came out to the Hoover area,” Sigrist said on Wednesday. “I’m really excited.”
Wednesday’s game also provided an opportunity for former Barons players to return to Birmingham to take in the first game in the new park.
Henry Elmore, a member of the original Birmingham Black Barons from 1961 to 1962, played with baseball greats such as Willie Mayes and Jackie Robinson.
Elmore was excited about turning the page on the next chapter in Birmingham baseball history.
“When we played at Rickwood it was the whites and the blacks,” Elmore said on Wednesday. “This here is something different.”
The Barons knocked off the Mississippi Braves 9-5 to start the new ballpark’s history on the right note.