Reviews for At Bat

Art Black has written his third book about historic Rickwood Field. His three books chronicle the entire history of America’s oldest ball park, and in the final work he has done a masterful job of bringing to life many ball players who played in this iconic ball park. Players who were members of the Oakland A’s World Series teams in 1972, 1973, and 1974, a team that wrapped those Series wins with five American League West Division titles….The old Birmingham stadium still stands, a monument not only to the town, but to the game, baseball in general, and to all of us who had the privilege of its experience. And thanks to Art Black for remembering. Tony La Russa, Hall of Fame Baseball Manager

Art Black, with his love of the game, and Birmingham as his backdrop, has written what will be his third in a series of books on the history of this famous baseball town, its historic ball park, its teams, and players, told with a homespun warmth that any baseball fan will love. His research more than rivals that of Harold Seymour who, many years ago, wrote a masterful triology on the history of the game. Art Black will have you, as he did for me, living the moment with his every word. Ted Kubiak, World Champion Oakland A’s, 1972 -74

At Bat is the much-anticipated final piece to his wonderful trilogy of books that began with Showdown at Rickwood and continued with Fame and Fortune in The Show. Inside At Bat‘s pages, you will experience the thrill of the Oakland A’s dynasty of the 1970s, which began at Rickwood Field, and the story of how Art Clarkson saved the ball park and the Barons for Birmingham. Art Black’s trilogy is as rare as a triple play and is the most complete and well written of all the histories of Rickwood Field.  Jeb Stewart, Biography Project Research Committee, Society for American Baseball Research

The author smoothly wove anecdotes, conversations, and statistics into the book’s narrative. It is a really fine piece of writing that taught me much, even after living through so much of it in Alabama. Thanks, Art, for your thousands of hours of eye-destroying research on newspaper microfilm. At Bat is one of the best sports books I have ever read.  Jim Palmer, Retired Teacher, Altamont School

Reviews for Fame and Fortune in The Show

In Fame and Fortune in The Show, Art Black takes us on a wondrous tour of that time in America’s history when baseball truly was the National Pastime. As is the case with the best sports writing, the players and games do not exist in a vacuum but are presented against the background of events that shaped — and reshaped — our country. Thus, we are introduced not only to the minor-league Birmingham Barons but also to their Negro League counterparts, and we meet both famous and lesser-known individuals, many of whom helped to integrate and to unify our beloved sport and, by extension, brought needed change to our nation. The cast of characters and the attention to detail make this book a compelling read. — Frederick C. Bush, Co-Editor, Negro League histories: Bittersweet Goodbye and The Newark Eagles Take Flight

Art Black takes the history of Rickwood Field and the Birmingham Barons to a higher level. Instead of retelling the same old stories we’ve heard many times before, Art provides rich details and facts long forgotten from the past. Read Fame and Fortune in The Show and go to the next level of understanding baseball in Birmingham. — Clarence Watkins, Director, Friends of Rickwood

Art Black possesses the rare gift of breathing three dimensions into his characters while connecting them within the framework of a vastly larger story. In this book, he has written the perfect sequel to Showdown at Rickwood. He uses a familiar character, Walter, and the ball park to tell the compelling history of Birmingham, the Barons, and the Black Barons from the 1930s to the mid-’60s. He has rediscovered long-forgotten heroes of Birmingham’s past and found fresh stories about the players we remember. — Jeb Stewart, Biography Project Research Committee, Society for American Baseball Research

As one of Birmingham’s iconic destinations, Vulcan Park & Museum welcomes visitors from across the country who are looking for a piece of Birmingham to take with them. Through our gift shop, The Anvil, Art Black’s first book, Showdown at Rickwood, has been one of our most popular titles. It is with this sentiment that I believe Fame and Fortune will do just as well. His storytelling is amazing and because of Art, the name of Rickwood Field continues to spread across the country. — Emily Meyer, Anvil Gift Shop Supervisor, Vulcan Park and Museum

Reviews for Showdown at Rickwood

“Take your time reading Showdown at Rickwood. Skipping a page, or a paragraph, is not an option. It would be like going to the concession stand with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth of a tie game — you might miss a game-changing event. And it is that way from Prologue to Epilogue. This book is so entertaining that it reads like a novel that is so good you’re sort of sad when you finish.” Wayne Martin, Former Sportswriter, Birmingham News

“This is a story you wish would never end. Thank you to the author for making a reader feel like he is on the field and in the stands. Somewhere Pop Boy is smiling and saying, ‘Finally someone has recognized what I did.’” — Chuck Stewart, Author and Rickwood Field Historian

“This is a story about a city, a nation, and the lives of individuals whose paths crossed at Rickwood Field. The author masterfully intertwines world events into the history of Rickwood. I applaud the vivid descriptions of the men who journeyed through Birmingham and beyond. It is more than a history to me because it allowed me to peer into the lives of people who made Rickwood Field the legend it is today.” — Kelley Gulledge, Professional Baseball Player, 2000-2011

“Birmingham baseball is defined by Rickwood Field and the 1931 Dixie Series. Art Black tells these stories again through the lives of the players. So often we see players only by their statistics and what they accomplish on the diamond. Black gives us a more complete story — a story of players who are also men with lives beyond the baseball field.” — Clarence Watkins, Author and Member, Friends of Rickwood

“Showdown at Rickwood contributes invaluably to the body of literature available on Rickwood Field. The storytelling style is both highly readable and engaging, and brings to life the fascinating characters who populate the story. An ambitious researcher, Art Black establishes effectively the context, and illuminates masterfully the details, while presenting a story that is simply hard to put down.” — David Brewer, Former Director, Friends of Rickwood