Face to Face With the Past
Short night, and too many pictures to weed through...I'll let the pictures do most of the talking.
Saw a lot of great B&W images today at our stops today, so I'm going grayscale for a day.
The 16th Street Baptist Church where four teenage girls were murdered by a bomb blast in 1963
Players from both teams file into the church
Jack Rice and Jared Sprague-Lott listen to the speakers at the Church, including the sister of one of the girls killed that day in 1963
Kelly Ingram Park, across from the church, has several sculptures that illustrate the civil rights struggle. This piece, sits catter corner to the church and is a tribute to the four girls killed there in 1963.
Sami Wylie walks through a sculpture depicting the dogs that were sent after Civil Rights marchers
Protest often brought jail time for the civil rights activists. The Monarchs gather behind this sculpture in Kelly Ingram Park.
The Monarchs lunch guests were several Negro League stars. As the Monarchs cleared out I sat with Ernest Fann, whose vivid stories conveyed both the pride and hurt he felt about his time on the Negro Leagues' Raleigh Tigers. Eventually signed by the Kansas City A's, bad knees ended his career before he could make it to the show.
Former major league player Ron Jackson, "Papa Jack" to the locals, returned to his hometown of Birmingham to help build up the Willie Mays RBI program.
As a young photographer I would take a week around the summer solstice (long days and long shadows!) and travel to minor league parks just to take pictures without the limitations of an assignment. When we pulled up to Rickwood Field, the oldest baseball stadium in the US, (and likely the world) it was a wonderful throwback to a much less complicated time in my life.
Built in 1910, Rickwood Field was home to the Birmingham Barons, and the Black Barons of the Negro Leagues.
Members of the Friends Of Rickwood brought out 1930's era gloves for the Monarchs to try out.
The Monarchs got a lesson in Rickwood Field history from the Friends of Rickwood. Willie Mays, pictured in the image above their lockers, played for the Black Barons as a 15 & 16 year old.
A young girl watches Mo'ne Davis warm up before the game.
Tiny, bunker-like dugouts are sunk low into the ground, and with a severe crown on the field, you can barely see the players across the diamond. Nasir Jackson gets comfortable between innings
The Monarchs played spectacular defense yet again, winning easily against a Willie Mays RBI team that had only been together for three games. Here Mo'ne Davis, playing 3B, competes a run down play.
Each crack of the bat echoes through the grandstand
They just don't make signs like they used to...
There is no escaping the glare for Mo'ne. The demands for pictures, interviews and autographs are endless. I feel bad for people that come to see her play and want a personal moment, but they have no idea how exhausting her days are. She handles it with incredible maturity, especially considering she only turned 14 on this day.
A surprise birthday party for Jahli, Mo'ne and "Red" from the Willie Mays team, was cut short by a lightning storm.
On to Montgomery...and a day off from playing.