Home Sports Roy Wood Jr., Harold Reynolds highlight MLB Network’s coverage of Rickwood Field Negro Leagues tribute

Roy Wood Jr., Harold Reynolds highlight MLB Network’s coverage of Rickwood Field Negro Leagues tribute

0 comment
Roy Wood Jr. and Harold Reynolds doing a

Major League Baseball pays tribute to the Negro Leagues and Hall of Famer Willie Mays with minor league and major league games played this week at legendary Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama. Mays is a Birmingham native and former Birmingham Black Barons player.

The exhibition game between the San Francisco Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals will be played on Thursday. Both teams will wear period uniforms in a nod to their respective cities’ Negro League histories. Fox will televise the game, a regular-season contest, beginning at 7:15 p.m. ET.

“There were over 130 Hall of Famers who played in Rickwood,” MLB Network’s Harold Reynolds told Yahoo Sports. “So when I see those billboards, it reminds me of my first trip to Fenway, my first trip to Wrigley, my first trip to Yankee Stadium. That’s the family this field is in… That’s what you think “, Babe Ruth hit a ball where? “That’s the interesting part of the story and we’re losing it.”

In a somewhat fortuitous moment, the tribute game will be played a few weeks after the Negro League statistics were officially integrated into the MLB’s all-time record.

“We can tell people who these players were, who they are and their talent,” Reynolds said. “That’s what it’s about.”

On Tuesday, the Birmingham Barons (Double A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) will host the Montgomery Biscuits (Double A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays) at 7 pm ET. The game will be televised on MLB Network, with Rich Waltz and Chris Young calling the broadcast and former “The Daily Show” correspondent Roy Wood Jr. working as a reporter.

Roy Wood Jr. and Harold Reynolds doing a “Walk and Talk” after speaking at Ramsay High School in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo courtesy of Parker Freedman/MLB Photos)

Wood is a Birmingham native and previously worked with MLB Network as host of the show “All-MLB Team Show” last December. Being a reporter for Tuesday’s minor league game is like “dusting off your journalism career,” he said.

“It’s just about keeping the spirit of celebration of why we’re here and in the park,” Wood told Yahoo Sports. “For me, my plan is to try to be the eyes and ears for people who can’t come to Rickwood. But if there is an opportunity to add an additional fact about the city of Birmingham or the people of Birmingham, my job is to do so. sure that we will not forget why we are here and why this field is so interesting.

“We’re talking about a field where the original depths… were 480 immediately in the past, 400 later,” he added. “So the right field line is like 320 and then it sticks out to 390 or something ridiculous. I won’t say ‘drunk’ on the broadcast, but who drew these dimensions?”

Reynolds believes Wood’s ability to tell stories about growing up in Birmingham and playing at Rickwood Field will appeal to viewers and make him perfect for the job.

“I can tell a story about the time Ensley High School lost a game to us because they got into a fight with each other in their own dugout,” Wood said. “I’m pretty sure Rickwood is the only ballpark where a team lost a game for fighting each other. Lavert Andrews didn’t score a ground ball, like he should have, and his teammate called him ‘sorry.’ Lavert told him punched him in the face.”

On Wednesday, the Barnstorm Birmingham Juneteenth event will feature a celebrity softball game. That broadcast will be televised Thursday on MLB Network at 2:30 p.m. ET, between the “MLB Central” pregame shows and “MLB Tonight” live from Rickwood Field. Reynolds and Young will be available.

Among those participating in the softball game will be former Philadelphia Phillies slugger Ryan Howard, Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe, NFL veterans Terrell Owens and Dwight Freeney, Cleveland Browns quarterback Jameis Winston (who grew up in the Birmingham area) and NBA veterans Stephen Jackson and JR. Blacksmith. Wood Jr. will also star, alongside actors Omari Hardwick, Phoebe Robinson and Lil Rel Howery.

“I’ll be the first person in a celebrity game to do a drag bunt,” Wood said. “You know, Chuck Carr was my inspiration. Brett Butler, Willie McGee, those are the guys I want to be.”

You may also like