Rickwood Field: Star on the big screen - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Rickwood Field: Star on the big screen

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BIRMINGHAM, AL - "The opening credits in '42' were shot right here at Rickwood," Tom Cosby, one of the Friends of Rickwood said.  "All of us could tell immediately that's Rickwood, how cool is that?"

"42", the story about Jackie Robinson, was the most recent movie filmed (2012) at Rickwood Field. Two other big budget feature films were also shot here, "Cobb" in 1994 starring Tommy Lee Jones, and "Soul of the Game" in 1995.

"The best thing was, it raised awareness," Cosby said.  "People in Birmingham saw that Warner Bros. was coming to Birmingham to film a top movie, three so far. This place has a great value to our city."

"The movie people we have dealt with have been great," Gerald Watkins, Chairman of the Friends of Rickwood said.  "Everything is done professionally. They walk away leaving the ballpark better than it was in almost every instance."

Those three films also helped in the recreation of the 1940s advertisements on the outfield fence.

"A lot of people had to see what we were talking about when we said we wanted to re-create a 1940s park.  People still wanted to put up modern signs and modern messages, and that's not wanted here," Cosby said.  "We wanted to feel when you walk into Rickwood you're walking through a vail and it will be 1948 in every regard."

In order for the movie companies to transform Rickwood into a silver screen set, the ballpark was shutout for about a month for each film.

"It interupted our schedule," Cosby said.  "A lot of people think we just have one event here, the Rickwood Classic. Truth be told, this place is booked for baseball from February to the end of November."

The Birmingham Barons will play the Mississippi Braves in the annual Rickwood Classic on June 25.

By: Kyle Burger - Follow on Twitter @kyle_burger

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