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Birmingham Barons logo Birmingham Barons
Southern League
Regions Field
Rickwood Field

Team and League History


September 7, 1979
     Southern League logo
Art Clarkson, former general manager of the Southern League's Memphis Chicks, announces he is trying to secure a Southern League team for Birmingham.

Clarkson plans to be principal owner with backing from 2 key local businessmen.

During the previous summer, John Forney, a local advertising executive and beloved play-by-play radio announcer of University of Alabama football, asked Clarkson to investigate bringing baseball back to Birmingham.

October 21, 1980

Clarkson announces that he will be bringing baseball back to Birmingham. In honor of the city's baseball history, the team will be named the Birmingham Barons.

Clarkson left a promising insurance-real estate career in Los Angeles in 1974 to run the season ticket drive of the Southern California Sun of the World Football League. During that season, John Bassett to notice of Clarkson and hired him to work for his Memphis Southmen of the WFL in 1975. Clarkson went on to become the general manager for the Southern League's Memphis Chicks in 1978 and 1979. Clarkson was fired for his trying to start his own baseball franchise in Birmingham. In 1979, Clarkson became the general manager of the American Association's Wichita team. However, Clarkson was soon fired from Wichita for the same reason Memphis gave.

     Montgomery Rebels logo
Clarkson will be a part owner of the team as well as the chief executive officer and general manager. Clarkson, along with Jack Levin, Dr. Robert Levin, Pete Ross, Segal Drummond, Larry Drummond, Bob Scranton, and Bill Baxley, paid $150,000 for a 60% controlling interest of the Southern League's Montgomery Rebels so they could move the team to Birmingham. 

Clarkson knows the Barons will have to prove themselves to the city. "We will not be begging for support from the angle Birmingham owes us something. It doesn't. The city is not up for judgment. It's reputation is not at stake as a sports city. That reputation is secure. It's up to us to prove ourselves. I have no doubt we will."

The Directors of the Southern League will meet in Tampa this weekend for the formality of giving their stamp of approval to the franchise.

The Barons have a tentative agreement with the Birmingham Park and Recreation Board for the use of Rickwood Field.

There will also be a working arrangement with Major League Baseball's Detroit Tigers. The Tigers were partners with the original Birmingham Barons in 1957-1961.

October 28, 1980
     Birmingham Barons logo
Birmingham Park and Recreation superintendent Frank Wagner tells the City Council that he believes the general consensus among city officials is against leasing Rickwood Field to the Barons if that would interfere with baseball games already scheduled by the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

If UAB is unwilling to move the games in question, Wagner says the deal between the city and the Barons could fall through. "A professional baseball team can't operate around someone else. Someone has to give."

November 5, 1980
In a private session, Clarkson and UAB baseball coach Harry Walker come to an agreement over scheduling at Rickwood Field. The Park Board requested the 2 meet to work through their problems. "We can live together and prosper," Walker said.

Clarkson was pleased an agreement was reached. "We'll do everything to cooperate with UAB that we can possibly do. Harry is a professional baseball man. I am. We'll work out problems."

December 16, 1980
     xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  Manager Roy Majtyka
Clarkson announces that Roy Majtyka will be retained as manager of the Barons. Majtyka was the manager for the Montgomery Rebels before they were moved to Birmingham by Clarkson.

In 1968, Majtyka started his managerial career with the Lewiston Broncs of the Northwest League. The next year, he moved to the Cedar Rapids Cardinals of the Midwest League. In 1971, he went to the Modesto Cardinals of the California League. The following year, he was hired by the St. Petersburg Cardinals of the Florida State League. He remained there until 1975, when he went to the Arkansas Travelers of the Texas League. The next year, he became manager of the Three Rivers Eagles of the Eastern League. In 1977, he managed the Indianapolis Indians of the American Association for 3 years before becoming the manager for the Rebels.

April 1981
1981
Southern League
Western Division Eastern Division
   Birmingham Barons     Charlotte Orioles   
   Chattanooga Lookouts       Columbus Astros
   Knoxville Blue Jays    Jacksonville Suns
   Memphis Chicks    Orlando Twins
   Nashville Sounds    Savannah Braves

Birmingham Barons logo    Charlotte Orioles logo    Chattanooga Lookouts logo    Columbus Astros
logo
needed
              
Jacksonville Suns logo   Knoxville Blue Jays logo   Memphis Chicks logo   Nashville Sounds logo
              
Orlando Twins logo   Savannah Braves
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August 15, 1981
Fifteen minutes before the start of a home game against the Knoxville Blue Jays, the lights went out on around 10,000 fans. After the Alabama Power Company worked on the situation for nearly an hour, the game was postponed until the 16th.

Clarkson estimates lost revenue would surpass $20,000. "This has got to be one of the most disappointing nights of my life. I think we could have had as many as 11,000 fans, but aside from the game revenue lost, the concessions that had been prepared are lost. There's no way that can be recovered."

An Alabama Power Company spokesman later said fuses had blown out at a substation.

February 27, 1982
     xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  Manager Ed Brinkman
Ed Brinkman is named as the Barons new manager. Roy Majtyka will be moving up to the AAA Evansville club.

A native of Cincinnati, Brinkman played on the same high school team as Pete Rose.

In 1977 and 1978, he managed the Southern League's Montgomery Rebels, winning a pennant in 1977. In 1980, Brinkman managed the Lakeland Tigers of the Florida State League. Last year he was a coach for Major League Baseball's San Diego Padres.

April 1982
1982
Southern League
Western Division Eastern Division
   Birmingham Barons     Charlotte Orioles   
   Chattanooga Lookouts       Columbus Astros
   Knoxville Blue Jays    Jacksonville Suns
   Memphis Chicks    Orlando Twins
   Nashville Sounds    Savannah Braves

Birmingham Barons logo    Charlotte Orioles
logo
needed
   Chattanooga Lookouts logo    Columbus Astros logo
                
Jacksonville Suns logo    Knoxville Blue Jays logo    Memphis Chicks logo    Nashville Sounds logo
              
Orlando Twins logo   Savannah Braves logo        

November 11, 1982
Clarkson announces that Roy Majtyka will return as manager of the Barons in 1983.

He will replace Brinkman, who left earlier in the month after being offered an assistant coach position with MLB's Chicago White Sox.

Majtyka was the Baron's first manager in 1981, before leaving to manage the Class AAA Evansville team. "I'm excited about coming back to Birmingham. Birmingham is a super baseball town, and I'm looking forward to seeing a lot of old friends."

April 1983
1983
Southern League
Western Division Eastern Division
   Birmingham Barons     Charlotte Orioles   
   Chattanooga Lookouts       Columbus Astros
   Knoxville Blue Jays    Jacksonville Suns
   Memphis Chicks    Orlando Twins
   Nashville Sounds    Savannah Braves

Birmingham Barons logo    Charlotte Orioles
logo
needed
   Chattanooga Lookouts logo    Columbus Astros logo
                
Jacksonville Suns
logo
needed
   Knoxville Blue Jays logo    Memphis Chicks logo    Nashville Sounds logo
                
Orlando Twins
logo
needed
   Savannah Braves
logo
needed
         

September 11, 1983
     Southern League logo
The Birmingham Barons win the 1983 Southern League Championship, defeating the Jacksonville Suns 3 games to 1.

In commenting on the championship, Majtyka said, "The only thing that didn't fall right into place was losing the second-half championship. We have some very talented players, but very few blue-chip, major-league prospects. But what we did have was a group of players who had a winning attitude. That's what made us winners. We got clutch hits, we ran the bases, we played good defense and we believed we could win."









April 1984
1984
Southern League
Western Division Eastern Division
   Birmingham Barons     Charlotte Orioles   
   Chattanooga Lookouts       Columbus Astros
   Knoxville Blue Jays    Greenville Braves
   Memphis Chicks    Jacksonville Suns
   Nashville Sounds    Orlando Twins

Birmingham Barons logo    Charlotte Orioles
logo
needed
   Chattanooga Lookouts logo    Columbus Astros logo
                
Greenville Braves logo    Jacksonville Suns
logo
needed
   Knoxville Blue Jays logo    Memphis Chicks logo
                
Nashville Sounds logo    Orlando Twins logo          

??? ???
     xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  Manager Gordon MacKenzie
The Barons announce Gordon MacKenzie as manager for the 1985 season.

Last year he managed the Evansville Triplets of the American Association.

April 24, 1985
It is announced that MacKenzie would immediately be moving up to become manager of the Class Triple A Nashville franchise. MacKenzie will be an interim manager, replacing Lee Walls, who is in critical condition in a Nashville hospital following recent stomach surgery.

     xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  Manager Mark DeJohn
Mark DeJohn, a Barons assistant coach, has been named interim manager. DeJohn was scheduled to begin his managerial career in July at Bristol when the rookie league team opens its season. "It's good that Mark was with the team and will be able to step right in. He's a good baseball man, and I'm sure he will do a fine job. I know our fans will like him," Clarkson said.

1985
Southern League
Western Division Eastern Division
    Birmingham Barons      Charlotte Orioles   
    Chattanooga Lookouts        Columbus Astros
    Huntsville Stars     Greenville Braves
    Knoxville Blue Jays     Jacksonville Expos   
    Memphis Chicks     Orlando Twins

Birmingham Barons logo    Charlotte Orioles
logo
needed
   Chattanooga Lookouts logo    Columbus Astros logo
                
Greenville Braves logo   Huntsville Stars logo   Jacksonville Expos logo   Knoxville Blue Jays logo
                
Memphis Chicks logo    Orlando Twins logo          

May 19, 1985
     xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  Manager Frank Franchi
Detroit Tigers director of player development, Frank Franchi, announces that Barons interim manager Mark DeJohn has been fired. Franchi will fill in as interim manager until a replacement can be found.

"We (Franchi and Detroit's general manager, Bill Lajoie) had not even planned to make a change at this time, but it was something we were considering. And we had every intention of sending him on to Bristol. But after talking with Mark Saturday, we felt there were some frustrations and anxieties expressed concerning the (Detroit) organization that made it apparent to us it would be better for him to start in another organization," Franchi said.

DeJohn said he will miss Birmingham. "There isn't much to say. I am extremely disappointed at not being able to continue in Birmingham. I enjoyed Birmingham very much, the city, the fans, and the organization. Art Clarkson treated me well."

May 25, 1985
     xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  Manager Jerry Grote
It is announced that Jerry Grote would move up from the Class A Lakeland franchise and become the Barons next manager. Grote is in his first year as a manager.

Franchi was not keen on the idea of Grote moving up to Birmingham. "When Art first made the request (for Grote), I said, 'No way, I'm not going to disrupt another team.' But Art has been so patient through all of this. I talked to Bill Lajoie and we decided to make the move."

July 12, 1985
     Detroit Tigers logo
Clarkson announces that the Barons will not renew their Player Development Contract with their parent club, the Detroit Tigers. Clarkson said he had been contacted by 3 major league teams in the last 3 days but refused to identify them.

"There have been a lot of rumors, a lot of guessing, going on. For the good of the franchise, we felt it was better to go ahead and make our intentions known at this time. Now, we won't have to deal with speculations and rumors that have a negative effect on the club and its fans, but concentrate on the positive aspects of wrapping up things this season and getting ready for next year. This has been a very trying time for me and for all of us in this office. The decision was difficult. It's tough to  say goodbye and realize we will no longer be a part of that family. But the bottom line is to be competitive and to win. For the last 2 years we have not been competitive and we have not won," Clarkson said.

August 26, 1985
Clarkson holds a press conference to make a public appeal for a new baseball stadium to be built. Clarkson says the 75 year old Rickwood Field has a leaky sprinkler system, is prone to having power failures, and has inadequate parking available.

"We have sent a letter to the mayor's office requesting an audience to talk about a new park. The alternative is to repair and patch up Rickwood Field to the standards it should be brought to. We are not threatening to leave the city. It's my home, and I plan to stay here," Clarkson said.

Sources say that Clarkson has already met with officials from the nearby cities of Hoover, Pelham, and Trussville, but has not yet met with Birmingham's mayor Richard Arrington.

"I've got to believe there is somebody in the Birmingham area who would like to make $50 million over a 5 year period. We've had great cooperation from the Park and Recreation Board. They've done everything in their power, and everything their budget would allow. And we're not asking the city of Birmingham to finance the Birmingham Barons (as they recently did for the USFL's Birmingham Stallions). We've made money for the city of Birmingham, and for the state of Alabama," Clarkson said.

     Chicago White Sox logo
Nina Miglionico, President of the Birmingham Park and Recreation Board, thinks some of the other cities surrounding Birmingham should start pulling their share of the load. "I think they should go to Hoover. I'm not being cute. I'm serious. The city of Birmingham represents a third of the people in Jefferson County, yet we already fund the zoo, the botanical garden, and Legion Field, and people all over the county and state benefit. I think it's high time the other two-thirds share in the funding. I think one of the cities should fund the (proposed theme park) water world, and one of them the baseball park. It would be a good thing for Bessemer or Hoover. I'm all for it."

September 10, 1985
Clarkson announces the Barons will become a farm team of the Chicago White Sox, starting with the 1986 season.

The White Sox will move their Class Double A club from Glens Falls, NY in the Eastern League to Birmingham.

"We'll still have the same name. We'll still use the red, black, and white for our uniforms and we're still the Barons. But we think there'll be some differences on the field. We're excited about the White Sox. They have had a top minor league organization for the past several years. We think we made quite a move up," Clarkson said.

December 18, 1985
     xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  Manager Tom Haller
Clarkson announces that Tom Haller will be the Barons manager for the 1986 season.

This will be Haller's first managerial position. Haller was the general manager for MLB's San Francisco Giants for the past 4 years.

February 7, 1986
Mayor Arrington announces that he has submitted a "preliminary proposal" to Clarkson. Arrington's proposal outlines 2 plans. The first plan is the city would purchase land around Legion Field to create enough room to build a stadium and provide additional parking. The second plan calls for the stadium to be built on the grounds of the state fair grounds. This plan is far cheaper for the city since the existing property is large enough to accommodate a new stadium and would provide ample parking space.

"Our parking problems won't exist at either Fair Park or Legion Field, but we have 2 other areas of concern. That's accessibility and fans' perception of the area where the stadium is located," Clarkson said.

April 1986
1986
Southern League
Western Division Eastern Division
    Birmingham Barons      Charlotte Orioles   
    Chattanooga Lookouts        Columbus Astros
    Huntsville Stars     Greenville Braves
    Knoxville Blue Jays     Jacksonville Expos   
    Memphis Chicks     Orlando Twins

Birmingham Barons logo    Charlotte Orioles
logo
needed
   Chattanooga Lookouts logo    Columbus Astros logo
                
Greenville Braves logo   Huntsville Stars logo   Jacksonville Expos logo   Knoxville Blue Jays logo
                
Memphis Chicks logo    Orlando Twins logo          

June 10, 1986
     xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  Manager Bob Bailey
It is announced by the White Sox that Haller would immediately become Chicago's new general manager. The previous general manager was recently fired.

Bob Bailey, currently managing the Peninsula team in the Class A Carolina League, will become the Barons manager.

After his retirement as a player in 1978, Bailey coached in the minor league system for the Montreal Expos, Houston Astros, and the White Sox. 

"Bob's a great guy. It's a good thing for Tom and we all know Bob will do a great job here," Clarkson said.

September 15, 1986
     xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  Manager Rico Petrocelli
The White Sox announce
Rico Petrocelli will be the Barons new manager beginning with the 1987 season.

Bailey will be reassigned within the White Sox organization.

Petrocelli started the 1986 season as the White Sox minor league batting instructor before taking over the Class A Appleton team. 

"Our objective is always to win, no matter where we are. But we're in Birmingham to develop players also, and a very real part of that development is teaching players to win," Petrocelli said.

November 19, 1986
Birmingham City Council president William Bell says that Birmingham did not pursue the Barons because Clarkson presented "take it or leave it" demands, he never came to the City Council with his proposals, and did not seem willing to negotiate the conditions of a new stadium.

Clarkson disagrees with Bell's version of the events, saying that he was asked to work through the mayor's office, which he did. He also said that no one from the City Council has contacted him about negotiations. "It was very poorly handled. I felt I was a pawn in the situation. I think we're committed to the city of Hoover if they can work out a plan. We're in serious negotiations. Has anything been finalized? No, it has not."

January 6, 1987
Arrington states that reports saying the city did not try to retain the Barons in the city were untrue. "We did offer to consider a new facility and to make a recommendation for a new facility. But we proposed it in the inner city."

However, soon after the proposal was made public, City Council president Bell said the council would kill plans for a new stadium. He also said that Clarkson had been threatening to move to Hoover and that the suburb might be the best place for Clarkson.

Clarkson disagreed with Arrington and Bell, saying that his first choice was always Birmingham, and that he started soliciting proposals from other suburbs 6 months after he had approached Birmingham officials. "I never threatened anybody publicly or privately. Why should I deal with these people when every time they bad-mouth me in public. I have tied to stay out of controversy with the city of Birmingham. I have paid all my bills to them. No matter how important or unimportant you think a business is in the city, if they are contributing to the city taxes, you never tell them to leave town."

February 16, 1987
The Hoover City Council approves 3 agreements that will allow the Barons to move to a new stadium outside the Birmingham city limits. Construction will not begin until the City Council approves a development plan that is currently being created.

First, the council agreed to purchase 70 acres of land from USR (the real estate division of USX) and Harbert Properties. The land is in Jefferson county and Shelby county, which means that USR and Harbert will petition the city to annex the land before the purchase can be made. If the annexation is successful, USR and Harbert will also donate an additional 40 acres to the city of Hoover for municipal development.

Second, the Hoover Park and Recreation Board will lease the stadium to the Barons for 10 years, with a 5 year option.

Third, Harbert International, Inc. will oversee the stadium's construction.

The stadium will be known as Hoover Stadium, and could be built in 3 phases. Phase 1 will cost around $10 million with a seating capacity of 10,000, including the 12 skyboxes. A 2nd phase would add an additional 5,000 seats while phase 3 would increase seating to 23,000.

If the stadium isn't completed by March 15, 1988, the Barons have the option to void the lease.

April 1987
1987
Southern League
Western Division Eastern Division
    Birmingham Barons      Charlotte Orioles   
    Chattanooga Lookouts        Columbus Astros
    Huntsville Stars     Greenville Braves
    Knoxville Blue Jays     Jacksonville Expos   
    Memphis Chicks     Orlando Twins

Birmingham Barons logo    Charlotte Orioles logo    Chattanooga Lookouts logo    Columbus Astros logo
                
Greenville Braves logo   Huntsville Stars logo   Jacksonville Expos logo   Knoxville Blue Jays logo
                
Memphis Chicks logo    Orlando Twins logo          

September 12, 1987
The Barons win their second Southern League pennant in 5 years by defeating the Charlotte Orioles 3 games to 1.

"This is just a tremendous thrill. It was just hard to think we had a chance when we were dong so poorly in the second half, but we started hitting the ball in the last regular season game against Columbus, and it just carried right on through," Petrocelli said.

Clarkson was equally surprised in the team's level of play in the post-season. "It's hard to compare teams. I'm a fan of individuals, and there were some great guys on our 1983 team and some great ones here. I will say that this one will always be special because there were those who had written us off when things weren't going so good in the second half. But the players and the coaches never believed it for a minute. We did what we had to do to win it, and it's going to be a thrill to run that Southern League pennant up the flag pole next year in Hoover. One thing for sure. This is the perfect way to end the final season for old Rickwood Field. It's just one more great memory to file away."

April 1988
1988
Southern League
Western Division Eastern Division
    Birmingham Barons      Charlotte Knights   
    Chattanooga Lookouts        Columbus Astros
    Huntsville Stars     Greenville Braves
    Knoxville Blue Jays     Jacksonville Expos   
    Memphis Chicks     Orlando Twins

Birmingham Barons logo    Charlotte Knights logo    Chattanooga Lookouts logo    Columbus Astros logo
                
Greenville Braves logo   Huntsville Stars logo   Jacksonville Expos logo   Knoxville Blue Jays logo
                
Memphis Chicks logo    Orlando Twins logo          

September 21, 1988
Larry Himes, general manager of the White Sox, announces that Rico Petrocelli has been fired from the organization. 

Marv Foley, who managed the Tampa Tarpons of the Class A Florida State League last season, will become the Barons new manager.

Foley actually played with the Barons in 1985 as a player-coach.

"I enjoyed Rico, but it's obvious the White Sox weren't pleased with the results they got in Birmingham," Clarkson said.

December 6, 1988
The White Sox organization announces that Foley would not be the Barons manager in 1989. Foley will instead manage the Vancouver Triple A franchise.

     xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  Manager Ken Berry
Ken Berry will now manage the Barons.

Berry was the White Sox's roving outfield and minor league hitting instructor last year. In Berry's 2 previous managing jobs he led the Class A Oneonta franchise in the New York Yankees farm system to a divisional title in 1982 and the Kansas City Royals' Appleton franchise of the Class A Midwest League to a second place finish in 1985.

"Some people think winning is everything. But I think developing talent and winning go hand in hand. Winning will come if you develop your people properly," Berry said.

Clarkson is happy with the choice. "Ken is an outstanding baseball man, and he and I saw eye-to-eye on a lot of things around here last season that we didn't like. I think he will be very good at motivating players, and it was quite evident that was a problem here last season. The bottom line is that he knows how to win."

1989
Southern League
Western Division Eastern Division
    Birmingham Barons      Charlotte Knights   
    Chattanooga Lookouts        Columbus Mudcats   
    Huntsville Stars     Greenville Braves
    Knoxville Blue Jays     Jacksonville Expos   
    Memphis Chicks     Orlando Twins

Birmingham Barons logo    Charlotte Knights logo    Chattanooga Lookouts logo    Columbus Mudcats logo
                
Greenville Braves logo   Huntsville Stars logo   Jacksonville Expos logo   Knoxville Blue Jays logo
                
Memphis Chicks logo    Orlando Twins logo          

August 31, 1989
Todd Trafton becomes the first Baron to play all 9 positions in a single game.

September 9, 1989
The Barons win their 3rd Southern League Championship by sweeping the Greenville Braves in 3 games.

"This team has got to be the most game-oriented, the most relentless team I've ever been around. They were totally committed. They just did an outstanding job," Berry said.

February 20, 1990
Clarkson addresses a rumor that he is in negotiations to sell the Barons. Clarkson, who is the team's general manager and chief executive officer, currently owns 30% of the stock in the Barons.

"I have no comment on that at this time. Right now, we just have nothing definite to report. There's smoke, but there's nothing there yet. We could have something in 2 days, or 2 weeks, or never. It just may never happen. But whatever happens, you can be sure of 2 things. One, I'll still be the general manager. And 2, the team will still be in Birmingham," Clarkson said.

Beyond the surprising fact the Barons are for sale is that the suitors are Japanese. The actual negotiations are being held with an American representative for the Japanese group. Clarkson and other stockholders have met with the group many times.

Before the sale could be finalized, the Southern League would have to give them permission to purchase the club.

February 22, 1990
Clarkson announces that the Barons have been sold to BB Acquisition Corporation, which is owned by Marty Kuehnert and Suntory International.

Suntory International is owned by the largest privately owned company in Japan, Suntory, LTD. Suntory is involved in food, beverage, and restaurant companies, pharmaceuticals, publishing, sports, and entertainment businesses.

Kuehnert, the major stockholder, will serve as the team's president and chief executive officer. "We expect no major changes. Art Clarkson will remain as general manager, and we have the greatest confidence in the current management. We spent a lot of time looking at franchises across the country and when we came here we fell in love with Hoover and the Birmingham area. We like the city, we like the stadium, we like the relationship with the White Sox. We felt this was the place for us."

Clarkson agreed, saying, "I think this is in the best interest of baseball in Birmingham and the Barons. It's going to be great for the fans. Suntory represents a financial interest with the resources to do so much more than we ever could. So, it's a happy time for me. But it's also sad. The Barons have been my life in the past 10 years. Kathy (Clarkson's wife) and I have agonized over this. We've cried over it. Now it's a decision that has been made, and one thing we won't do is second-guess it."

The purchase price was not announced, but it is believed to have been around $3.6 million.

March 8, 1990
The Southern League officially approves the Barons sale to Suntory, LTD.

April 1990
1990
Southern League
Western Division Eastern Division
    Birmingham Barons      Charlotte Knights   
    Chattanooga Lookouts        Columbus Mudcats   
    Huntsville Stars     Greenville Braves
    Knoxville Blue Jays     Jacksonville Expos   
    Memphis Chicks     Orlando Sun Rays

Birmingham Barons logo    Charlotte Knights logo    Chattanooga Lookouts logo    Columbus Mudcats logo
                
Greenville Braves logo   Huntsville Stars logo   Jacksonville Expos logo   Knoxville Blue Jays logo
                
Memphis Chicks logo    Orlando Rays logo          

August 15, 1990
Clarkson announces he will be leaving the Barons organization with 2 weeks. His future plans are currently not set as of yet. "I'm looking and listening. I have several things that are possible, but the only real plans I have are to take a couple of months off and do nothing. This is my home. I'm looking for something that will allow me to live here, but one thing the sale of the club did was allow me the luxury of not having to worry. I can afford to take my time."

Clarkson also made a point to say that he would not be involved with the local World League of American Football franchise nor is he a candidate to replace Jimmy Bragan as President of the Southern League, as has been rumored of late. "If they would let UAB have a (football) team and allow me to market it, we'd put people in Legion Field. About 5 years down the road we'd have some kind of anniversary celebration for Legion Field, then tear it down and build a domed stadium."

September 5, 1990
A fight that started on the team bus re-ignited as the bus unloaded in Hoover. First baseman Todd Trafton was hit on the head with a bat swung by outfielder Will Magallanes, who was arrested by Hoover police. Pitcher Jose Ventura was not arrested but was suspended by the Chicago White Sox and sent back home to the Dominican Republic. Magallanes was also suspended.

Apparently, the altercation had been building for weeks. "I had taken enough of the verbal things (from Ventura). Finally, we squared off on the bus, but I thought we had that taken care of by the time we got home. When I got off the bus I heard some screaming and they came at me with baseball bats. I started running. Somebody got the bats away from them, but Magallanes sneaked around behind the bus, got another bat and hit me in the back of the head," Trafton said.

The Barons have placed Trafton on the disabled list and he will not play in the playoffs. "I told them I could play in a couple of days, but they basically told me my season is over and to go on home. I'm not too happy right now. When I needed support from them, I didn't get it."

September 18, 1990
The Barons announce that they are officially submitting an application to move up to Triple-A classification.

Kuehnert thinks the Barons chances are excellent. "We feel we have to be one of the top choices in the country. We have the facility, we have the financing, and we have the track record in Double-A. But we're taking nothing for granted. We're going to be working very hard for this, from now until the time the two new Triple-A franchises are awarded."

The requirements are high, including a park of 10,000 or more seats, quality ownership, location, market size, a season ticket base of at least 2,500, a franchise fee that could run as high as $5 million, and additional territorial compensation for the Southern League. "We feel we are in good shape in all areas. The only negative could be geographic, that is, if they wanted 2 teams on the east coast or 2 on the west, or just wanted to stay out of the south all together," Kuehnert said. Last year, the Barons only sold 1,100 season tickets.

The new Triple-A teams could begin play as early as 1992. A formal presentation will be give by the Barons in November with a decision by the committee by next September.

November 16, 1990
Representatives of the Barons and the city of Hoover formally presented their bid for a Triple-A franchise at a meeting in Chicago, where 18 other cities are in the running.

"We think our presentation was one of the best. The reaction of the expansion committee led us to believe we are one of the top candidates, if not the top candidate for expansion," Kuehnert said.

January 4, 1991
Kuehnert announces that Birmingham, Charlotte, the Quad Cities, and Tulsa have been notified that they have met all the requirements to be eligible for consideration for a Triple-A franchise.

March 15, 1991
Tony Franklin is announced as the Baron's new manager.
     xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  Manager Tony Franklin

Franklin managed the Class A Sarasota club of the Florida State League for the last 2 years.

April 1991
1991
Southern League
Western Division Eastern Division
    Birmingham Barons      Carolina Mudcats   
    Chattanooga Lookouts        Charlotte Knights
    Huntsville Stars     Greenville Braves
    Knoxville Blue Jays     Jacksonville Suns   
    Memphis Chicks     Orlando Sun Rays

Birmingham Barons logo    Carolina Mudcats logo    Charlotte Knights logo    Chattanooga Lookouts logo
                
Greenville Braves logo   Huntsville Stars logo   Jacksonville Suns logo    Knoxville Blue Jays logo
                
Memphis Chicks logo    Orlando Rays logo          

June 24, 1991
The Triple-A Expansion Committee announces that Birmingham is on the 'short list' along with Annapolis, Charlotte, Tulsa, and Ottawa (Canada).

July 9, 1991
At a league meeting in Huntsville, Southern League president Jimmy Bragan recommends a $1.8 million indemnity payment from Birmingham and/or Charlotte if they are offered a Triple-A franchise

July 10, 1991
Kuehnert counter-offers with a $700,000 indemnity payment to the league which is quickly refused. The league offers to drop its payment request to $1.1 million.

After some discussion between the Barons and Knights, Charlotte's president Spencer Stolpen approaches the league with a new joint offer. "If the directors don't accept this offer, they are going to have some big-time trouble on their hands. Spencer Stolpen is a lawyer. You can take that where you want to take it. But I'll tell you, he (Stolpen) was hot. I think we're both angrier today after thinking about it overnight. We spent all day (discussing the payment), and the Texas League spent a half an hour (with Tulsa's request to move up). And they asked no indemnity at all. I can't see why our league couldn't have been as fair," Kuehnert said.

Bragan discounted Kuehnert's suggestions of possible legal action. "I certainly didn't read that into my talk with Spencer Stolpen. Our discussions have been amiable, and I'm disappointed that Marty Kuehnert has chosen to inject the possibility of any kind of legal action. I just can't see it happening."

July 19, 1991
The Southern League announces they have reached an agreement on the indemnity settlement for the Barons and the Knights. While no one would commit to the amount, it is believed to be $900,000.

"I don't want to have any more problems with the Southern League and Mr. Bragan, so let's just say we're certainly prepared to live with it," Kuehnert said.

Bragan will write a letter to the Triple-A Expansion Committee informing them that the indemnity issue has been resolved and at what coast to each team.

August 21, 1991
Chicago White Sox officials announce that former Auburn University star Bo Jackson will play 4 games for the Barons next week as he continues his rehabilitation from hip surgery. Jackson also plays for the National Football League's Los Angeles Raiders and had injured his hip during a football game last season. Jackson will first play 2 games for the Sarasota team before moving up to Birmingham.

Franklin said the White Sox won't allow the Barons to send Jackson to play in the outfield. "He'll be our designated hitter, that's all."

August 26, 1991
Jackson arrives in Birmingham.

August 29, 1991
Jackson completes his 4 game stretch in Birmingham and returns to the Chicago White Sox for evaluation. While in Birmingham, Jackson was 4-for-13 with 2 runs scored and no runs batted in.

"I have enjoyed my 4 days here. The main thing is that being here with these guys and being in my home town has been great. I wish there was a way to thank everybody," Jackson said.

Although the presence of Jackson caused high demand for tickets, the Barons failed to win a single game during those 4 days.

September 28, 1991
The Triple-A Expansion Committee alerts the Barons that their bid to move up has been turned down.

     Denver Zephyrs logo
Ottawa (Canada) and Charlotte would be getting the new franchises. Rumors are that Suntory International is preparing to remove Kuehnert as Barons CEO.

January 6, 1992

The Barons attempt to move up to Triple-A once again, this time by offering to buy the Triple-A's Denver Zephyrs, and move the franchise to Birmingham.

The offer, however, was turned down by Zephyrs owner John Dikeou, who decided to move the team to New Orleans.

In a related story, Art Clarkson's investment team was turned down by the Jefferson Parish Metropolitan Baseball Commission, who chose the Denver franchise over Clarkson's group, who had agreed to purchase the Double-A Charlotte Knights franchise and move it to New Orleans.

Clarkson's group was passed over because of a stipulation in their bid demanding a new stadium be built in New Orleans before 1993.

April 1992
1992
Southern League
Western Division Eastern Division
    Birmingham Barons      Carolina Mudcats   
    Chattanooga Lookouts        Charlotte Knights
    Huntsville Stars     Greenville Braves
    Knoxville Blue Jays     Jacksonville Suns   
    Memphis Chicks     Orlando Sun Rays

Birmingham Barons logo    Carolina Mudcats logo    Charlotte Knights logo    Chattanooga Lookouts logo
                
Greenville Braves logo   Huntsville Stars logo   Jacksonville Suns logo    Knoxville Blue Jays logo
                
Memphis Chicks logo    Orlando Sun Rays logo          

August 30, 1992
An 8th inning, 10 minute, bench-clearing brawl erupted in a Barons game while they were visiting the Carolina Mudcats. In all, 13 players and coaches were ejected from the game. Eight of those were from the Barons, including manager Tony Franklin.

The brawl started when a Barons pitcher hit a Carolina batter in retaliation to the previous inning when a Carolina pitcher hit a Baron batter.

The Barons had the last laugh, however, as they won 10-4.

November 19, 1992
     xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  Manager Terry Francona
Terry Francona is announced as the new Barons manager for the 1993 season.

Franklin will move to Francona's old position as manager of the Single-A South Bend team in the Midwest League.

Last year was Francona's first managerial position. In college, Francona led the University of Arizona to the 1980 National Championship. He then went on to play 8 years in the major leagues, with Montreal, the Chicago Cubs, and Cleveland.

Francona began his coaching career with the Rookie Sarasota White Sox of the Gulf Coast League in 1991. In 1992, he was named to his first managing position by the Class-A South Bend White Sox. Following that season, Francona was a coach for the Grand Canyon franchise of the Arizona Fall League.

April 1993
1993
Southern League
Western Division Eastern Division
   
   
   
   
   

Birmingham Barons logo    logo
needed
   logo
needed
   logo
needed
                
logo
needed
  logo
needed
  logo
needed
   logo
needed
                
logo
needed
   logo
needed
         

April 1994
1994
Southern League
Western Division Eastern Division
   
   
   
   
   

Birmingham Barons logo    Carolina Mudcats logo    Chattanooga Lookouts logo    Greenville Braves logo
                
Huntsville Stars logo    Jacksonville Suns logo    Knoxville Smokies logo    Memphis Chicks logo
                
Nashville Xpress logo   Orlando Cubs logo         

??? 1995
     Photograph
  Owner David Elmore
Barons purchased by Elmore Sports Group, LTD.

David G. Elmore














April 1995
1995
Southern League
Western Division Eastern Division
    Birmingham Barons      Carolina Mudcats   
    Chattanooga Lookouts        Greenville Braves
    Huntsville Stars     Jacksonville Suns   
    Knoxville Smokies     Orlando Cubs
    Memphis Chicks     Port City Roosters

Birmingham Barons logo    Carolina Mudcats logo    Chattanooga Lookouts logo    Greenville Braves logo
                
Huntsville Stars logo    Jacksonville Suns logo    Knoxville Smokies logo    Memphis Chicks logo
                
Orlando Cubs logo   Port City Roosters logo         

April 1996
1996
Southern League
Western Division Eastern Division
   Birmingham Barons      Carolina Mudcats   
   Chattanooga Lookouts       Greenville Braves
   Huntsville Stars     Jacksonville Suns
   Knoxville Smokies     Orlando Cubs
   Memphis Chicks     Port City Roosters

Birmingham Barons logo    Carolina Mudcats logo    Chattanooga Lookouts logo    Greenville Braves logo
                
Huntsville Stars logo   Jacksonville Suns logo   Knoxville Smokies logo    Memphis Chicks logo
                
Orlando Cubs logo    Port City Roosters logo          

April 1997
1997
Southern League
Western Division Eastern Division
   Birmingham Barons      Carolina Mudcats     
   Chattanooga Lookouts         Greenville Braves
    Huntsville Stars     Jacksonville Suns
    Memphis Chicks     Knoxville Smokies
   Mobile BayBears      Orlando Rays

Birmingham Barons logo    Carolina Mudcats logo    Chattanooga Lookouts logo    Greenville Braves logo
                
Huntsville Stars logo   Jacksonville Suns logo   Knoxville Smokies logo    Memphis Chicks logo
                
Mobile BayBears logo    Orlando Rays logo          

April 1998
1998
Southern League
Western Division Eastern Division
  Birmingham Barons     Carolina Mudcats
   Chattanooga Lookouts    Greenville Braves
   Huntsville Stars    Jacksonville Suns
   Mobile BayBears    Knoxville Smokies   
   West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx       Orlando Rays

Birmingham Barons logo    Carolina Mudcats logo    Chattanooga Lookouts logo    Greenville Braves logo
                
Huntsville Stars logo   Jacksonville Suns logo   Knoxville Smokies logo    Mobile BayBears logo
                
Orlando Rays logo    West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx logo          

??? ???
     xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  Manager Chris Cron
The Barons announce Chris Cron as manager for the 1999 season.

Last year, Cron was named Carolina League Manager of the Year.

April 1999
1999
Southern League
Western Division Eastern Division
   Birmingham Barons      Carolina Mudcats   
    Chattanooga Lookouts    Greenville Braves
   Huntsville Stars     Jacksonville Suns
    Mobile BayBears    Knoxville Smokies
    West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx       Orlando Rays

Birmingham Barons logo    Carolina Mudcats logo    Chattanooga Lookouts logo    Greenville Braves logo
                
Huntsville Stars logo   Jacksonville Suns logo   Knoxville Smokies logo    Mobile BayBears logo
                
Orlando Rays logo    West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx logo          

??? ???
     xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  Manager Nick Capra
The Barons announce Nick Capra as manager for the 2000 season.

Capra's previous managerial positions were with Bristol in 1998 and Burlington in 1999. 

April 2000
2000
Southern League
Western Division Eastern Division
    Birmingham Barons      Carolina Mudcats   
    Chattanooga Lookouts        Greenville Braves
    Huntsville Stars     Jacksonville Suns   
    Mobile BayBears     Orlando Rays
    West Tenn Diamond Jaxx        Tennessee Smokies   

Birmingham Barons logo    Carolina Mudcats logo    Chattanooga Lookouts logo    Greenville Braves logo
                
Huntsville Stars logo   Jacksonville Suns logo   Mobile BayBears logo   Orlando Rays logo
                
Tennessee Smokies logo    West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx logo          

April 6, 2001
The city of Birmingham is starting its 100th season of baseball. A year-long celebration is planned.

2001
Southern League
Western Division Eastern Division
    Birmingham Barons      Carolina Mudcats   
    Huntsville Stars       Chattanooga Lookouts
    Mobile BayBears     Greenville Braves   
    Tennessee Smokies     Jacksonville Suns
    West Tenn Diamond Jaxx        Orlando Rays   

Birmingham Barons logo    Carolina Mudcats logo    Chattanooga Lookouts logo    Greenville Braves logo
                
Huntsville Stars logo   Jacksonville Suns logo   Mobile BayBears logo   Orlando Rays logo
                
Tennessee Smokies logo West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx logo        

June 27, 2001
Barons catcher Miguel Olivo is ejected from the game against the Tennessee Smokies for using a corked bat. Olivo's bat cracked during one of his appearances as a batter. Olivo said he had no idea that the bat was corked, and that he received the bat in a trade with a former teammate and fellow Dominican Republic native who plays for the Huntsville Stars.

Tennessee manager Rocket Wheeler said that players trade bats all the time "but if you're going to use it you better know all about it. I've never seen it before, ever. You suspect guys, but you never see a guy caught."

June 28, 2001
Southern League President Don Mincher hands down a 6-game suspension and an undisclosed fine to Olivo for using the corked bat.

June 29, 2001
Major League Baseball rules that Olivo will not be allowed to play in the upcoming All-Star Futures Game on July 8th. The decision overturns a ruling by the Southern League who would have allowed Olivo to play in the game. The Futures Game pits a team of minor league All-Stars from the United States against a world team. Olivo participated in the Futures Game last year when he was with the Oakland Athletics organization. Now, the only Baron participating in the Futures Game will be center fielder Joe Borchard.

September 13, 2001
Mincher decides to cancel the 2001 championship series just days after terrorists hijacked commercial airplanes and flew them into New York's World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon in Washington, DC. Both WTC towers collapsed, killing hundreds. The Huntsville Stars and the Jacksonville Suns were declared co-champions.

"Although I believe that baseball can, and will, play an important role as our nation goes through its healing process, I do not believe it is proper for us to play our championship series," Mincher said.

January 22, 2002
     xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  Manager Wally Backman
Wally Backman is named the Barons new manager for the 2002 season.

Last year he was the manager of the Single-A Winston-Salem team.

Backman got his managerial start with Tri-Cities, which he took to the Independent Western Baseball League title. "I'm excited about Birmingham because from everything I've heard, it's so much more professional an environment than what I've seen so far."

The Barons former manager, Nick Capra, was promoted to the Triple-A franchise in Charlotte after leading the Barons to back-to-back playoff berths in 2000 and 2001.

Backman expects the Barons style of play to resemble his own when he played 2nd base for the Major League Baseball's 1996 world champion New York Mets. "I'll expect our team to play exceptionally hard. They'll take out guys at 2nd base, and we'll live with the problems that may cause. It's aggressive play."

April 2002
2002
Southern League
Western Division Eastern Division
    Birmingham Barons      Carolina Mudcats   
    Chattanooga Lookouts     Greenville Braves
    Huntsville Stars     Jacksonville Suns
    Mobile BayBears     Orlando Rays
    West Tenn Diamond Jaxx        Tennessee Smokies   

Birmingham Barons logo    Carolina Mudcats logo    Chattanooga Lookouts logo    Greenville Braves logo
                
Huntsville Stars logo    Jacksonville Suns logo    Mobile BayBears logo    Orlando Rays logo
                
Tennessee Smokies logo   West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx        

September 13, 2002
The Barons win the 2002 Southern League championship by sweeping the Jacksonville Suns.

This is the 5th title for the Barons, which ties a Southern League record held by the old Montgomery Rebels, who moved to Birmingham after Art Clarkson purchased the team in 1980.

"We were suspect coming in (to the season). But one thing we had was great chemistry. We had twenty-four guys pulling together. Sometimes, that's more important than individual talent," Backman said.

April 2003
2003
Southern League
Western Division Eastern Division
    Birmingham Barons      Carolina Mudcats   
    Chattanooga Lookouts     Greenville Braves
    Huntsville Stars     Jacksonville Suns
    Mobile BayBears     Orlando Rays
    West Tenn Diamond Jaxx        Tennessee Smokies   

Birmingham Barons logo    Carolina Mudcats logo    Chattanooga Lookouts logo    Greenville Braves logo
                
Huntsville Stars logo   Jacksonville Suns logo   Mobile BayBears logo   Orlando Rays logo
                
Tennessee Smokies logo    West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx          

December 17, 2003
Wally Backman announces that he will be will be leaving the Chicago White Sox organization, which will end his reign as the Barons manager for the past 2 seasons.

Backman was a candidate to become manager of the White Sox but was not selected. The White Sox instead chose Ozzie Guillen to replace Jerry Manuel. The move was considered an insult to Backman, who is 5 years older than Guillen and has actually been a manager in the minor leagues. Backman had great success in Birmingham, leading the Barons to playoff appearances both years and winning the Southern League title his first year as manager.

With his background, Backman should be quickly hired by another organization. "I have some choices. I just want to make the right decision."

One option Backman has would be to join the staff of Terry Francona, a former Barons manager from 1993 to 1995. Francona was recently hired as manager of the Boston Red Sox.

January 22, 2004
     xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  Manager Razor Shines
The Barons announce that Razor Shines will be the new manager for the 2004 season. Shines led the Single-A Winston-Salem club to the Carolina League title last year. Shines played professionally for 16 years, including a 68 game stint for the Montreal Expos.

"I'm really thrilled about coming to Birmingham, and I think it will be a very exciting time. The fans will see right away that we have some good young talent that will fit in with the winning tradition that Birmingham and the Barons are used to," Shines said.

April 2004
2004
Southern League
Western Division Eastern Division
    Birmingham Barons      Carolina Mudcats   
    Huntsville Stars     Chattanooga Lookouts   
    Mobile BayBears     Greenville Braves
    Montgomery Biscuits     Jacksonville Suns
    West Tenn Diamond Jaxx        Tennessee Smokies   

Birmingham Barons logo    Carolina Mudcats logo    Chattanooga Lookouts logo    Greenville Braves logo
                
Huntsville Stars logo   Jacksonville Suns logo   Mobile BayBears logo   Montgomery Biscuits logo
                
Tennessee Smokies logo   West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx        

April 2005
2005
Southern League
Northern Division Southern Division
    Carolina Mudcats     Birmingham Barons
    Chattanooga Lookouts     Jacksonville Suns
    Huntsville Stars     Mississippi Braves
    Tennessee Smokies     Mobile BayBears
    West Tenn Diamond Jaxx        Montgomery Biscuits   

Birmingham Barons logo    Carolina Mudcats logo    Chattanooga Lookouts logo    Huntsville Stars logo
                
Jacksonville Suns logo   Mississippi Braves logo   Mobile BayBears logo   Montgomery Biscuits logo
                
Tennessee Smokies logo   West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx        

September 28, 2005
     Photograph
  Owner Don Logan
Barons fans are surprised to hear the franchise has been quietly sold to Don Logan. Logan, along with his sons Jeff and Stan, becomes the eleventh owner in the Barons storied history that spans more than one hundred years. The investment group will operate under the name Birmingham Barons, LLC.

The sale was conducted in secrecy and a purchase price has not been revealed. "We did not put the team on the market," said Dave Elmore, president of the previous ownership, Elmore Sports Group. Elmore learned of Don Logan's interest from the City of Hoover's director of operations, Alan Pate. "Mr. Logan mentioned a couple of years ago that if the Birmingham Barons ever were for sale, he'd be interested," Pate said. However, Don Logan said his interest in the Barons goes even further back, "Actually, I've been interested in the Barons since Suntory (a Japanese company that purchased the Barons in 1991)."

The Logan family has significant roots in Birmingham and they plan on continuing the tradition of fun, family oriented entertainment that the Birmingham area has come to expect from the Barons. "My sons, Jeff and Stan, and I share a deep pride in our Birmingham roots and a great love for the game of baseball. So we’re extremely pleased to have this opportunity to become part of the long and illustrious tradition of the Birmingham Barons. Our goal is to continue to provide a rich baseball experience in a family-friendly way to the loyal fans of the Birmingham Barons. To achieve this, we’ll work closely with the City of Hoover and our many friends there and all over the Birmingham area, as well as Minor League Baseball and the Chicago White Sox, our parent club. We look forward to many seasons of exciting games and even more fun for our fans," said Don Logan.

Don Logan moved his family to Birmingham in 1970 as he began his twenty-one year career with Southern Progress and since then the family has grown to become a major part of the area. Don has served the Birmingham area in many ways over the years as he has acted as a director of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, Co-Chair of the Civil Rights Institute and a trustee of Samford University. He has also been active as a member of the President’s Council at the University of Alabama in Birmingham and serves on the Board of the Alabama Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. Currently, Don is the Chairman of Time Warner’s Media and Communications Group and has been in that position since July of 2002. He and his wife Sandra live in New York City but also maintain their residence locally in Birmingham.

Jeff and Stan both grew up in Birmingham and each graduated from area high schools; Jeff from Berry High School and Stan from Mountain Brook High School. After each graduated from Auburn University, they spent time living and working in Birmingham; Jeff in the financial banking industry for twelve years and Stan in a law practice for four years. Jeff currently resides in Birmingham with his family and Stan and his wife live in Atlanta.

January 16, 2006
It is announced that Chris Cron, former Birmingham Barons manager in 1999, will be returning to manage the Barons once again. Cron replaces Razor Shines, who will move up to the Triple-A's Charlotte franchise.

Since leaving the Barons, Cron has led the Single-A Winston-Salem team to the Carolina League playoffs 2 straight years.

The Barons have been to the Southern League playoffs a record 6 straight years. Cron will have the opportunity to help the Barons break the tie they have with the Montgomery Rebels, who set the mark in the 1970's.

April 2006
2006
Southern League
Northern Division Southern Division
    Carolina Mudcats     Birmingham Barons
    Chattanooga Lookouts     Jacksonville Suns
    Huntsville Stars     Mississippi Braves
    Tennessee Smokies     Mobile BayBears
    West Tenn Diamond Jaxx        Montgomery Biscuits   

Birmingham Barons logo    Carolina Mudcats logo    Chattanooga Lookouts logo    Huntsville Stars logo
                
Jacksonville Suns logo   Mississippi Braves logo   Mobile BayBears logo   Montgomery Biscuits logo
                
Tennessee Smokies logo   West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx        

May 6, 2006
The Barons game with the Jacksonville Suns was stopped after seven innings due to three bench-clearing incidents. Barons manager Chris Cron, after consulting with Chicago White Sox director of player personnel David Wilder, pulled his team off the field in the top of the eighth inning after the third incident. Jacksonville was declared the winner by a score of 11-5.

The trouble began in the bottom of the sixth inning when Jacksonville's Spike Lundberg threw a pitch over Barons' Corey Smith's head. Smith pointed his bat at Lundberg and the two traded words before both dugouts emptied. The game resumed a short time later. Two factors may have led to the initial trouble, the Suns were ahead by eight runs and Lundberg had hit Birmingham's Michael Myers the last time he faced the Barons two weeks ago.

At the end of the inning, Smith returned to the field and exchanged insults with Lundberg, which prompted the second bench-clearing brawl. Witnesses report that Cron was hit in the face by a Jacksonville player.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Lundberg threw a tight pitch to Birmingham's Robert Valido. This got the two team's dugouts hurling insults across the field at each other.

In the top of the eighth inning, Jacksonville's Matt Kemp came to bat against Barons' reliever Eduardo Sierra. After two tight pitches, the benches emptied for the third and final brawl of the game.

Cron was livid that the player who punched him remained in the game. "I've been in the game a long time and I've never seen anything like this. It was out of hand. Nobody was in control. So I took my guys off the field," Cron said.

Much of the blame for the events is placed at the replacement umpires for not taking control quickly enough. Replacement umpires have been working minor league games since the start of the season after the Association of Minor League Umpires went on strike. Wilder plans to lodge a complaint about the officiating with the league office. "I'm calling as soon as I can. This has gotten out of control," Wilder said.

January 18, 2007
     xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  Manager Rafael Santana
The Barons announce Rafael Santana will be their manager for the 2007 season. Santana's first season as a manger was last year, when he guided the Single-A Winston-Salem club to a 66-72 record.

Santana has been with the White Sox organization for eight years, performing various duties during that time. In 1986, Santana was the starting shortstop for the World Series champion New York Mets. While with the Mets, he was a team-mate of Wally Backman, who managed the Barons in 2002 and 2003. During his career, Santana played for St. Louis, Cleveland, the Mets and the Yankees.

Santana retired as a player in 1990 and went on to work for Boston, Kansas City and the White Sox organizations.

April 2007
2007
Southern League
Northern Division Southern Division
    Carolina Mudcats     Birmingham Barons
    Chattanooga Lookouts     Jacksonville Suns
    Huntsville Stars     Mississippi Braves
    Tennessee Smokies     Mobile BayBears
    West Tenn Diamond Jaxx        Montgomery Biscuits   

Birmingham Barons logo    Carolina Mudcats logo    Chattanooga Lookouts logo    Huntsville Stars logo
                
Jacksonville Suns logo   Mississippi Braves logo   Mobile BayBears logo   Montgomery Biscuits logo
                
Tennessee Smokies logo   West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx        

October 24, 2007
     Birmingham Barons logo
The Barons unveil new team logos and uniforms in preparation for the 2008 Southern League season. The changes mark the first significant alterations to the team's logos and on-field uniforms since 1993. Since moving to Hoover prior to the 1988 season, the Birmingham Barons have been associated with a traditional script logo.

In anticipation of the team's 21st season in Hoover in 2008, and following a series of extensive improvements to Regions Park, the organization commissioned an overhaul of the logo and uniforms that had been a staple of one of the most celebrated and historic franchises in all of Minor League Baseball.

"We have made every effort to honor our past, while modernizing and energizing the Barons brand as we move into the future," said General Manager Jonathan Nelson. "The addition of red in our color scheme is a nod to the Barons' uniforms of the 1980's and early 1990's, while our new, gray, road uniforms are strikingly similar to those of the Birmingham Black Barons, a uniform we also wore at the Rickwood Classic in 1999."

This marks the first new uniform for the Barons since 1993, and the first adjustment to the club's primary logo since 1988. "Our goal was to re-brand ourselves, to really re-energize our brand in this community," Nelson said. The Barons made slight changes to their traditional script logo.

"There's so much history involved with the team. That really demanded a certain look and a certain feel for the team. We didn't want to get too far out or too wacky," said John Hartwell, whose design studio undertook the project for the Barons.

Nelson said the Barons wanted to uphold the team's integrity with the redesign, but also develop something more attractive. "You have a lot of other minor league teams that have a lot flashier logos or color schemes than we have. But we didn't want to go too far out of the box," Nelson said.

The new uniform design is the first since Michael Jordan played with the Barons in 1994. The team will continue selling Jordan's number 45 jersey in the traditional style. "It continues to be one of the most popular items we sell," Nelson said.

January 17, 2008
     Photograph 
  Manager Carlos Subero
Carlos Subero is named the Birmingham Barons manager for 2008.

Subero enters his first season with the White Sox organization as manager of the Barons. Subero spent the 2006-07 seasons as manager of Class A Bakersfield (California League) and has gone 381-431 over 7 years in the Texas farm system.

A native of Venezuela, the 35 year old spent 4 seasons as a minor-league infielder in the early 1990's. Subero began his coaching career in 1999 with the Gulf Coast League Rangers before assuming the managerial duties the following season. He then skippered the Clinton LumberKings (Midwest League) for 3 seasons before leading Bakersfield for 2 seasons.

"I am looking forward to managing the Barons in 2008 as we anticipate having a fun and competitive team made up of several White Sox prospects. The White Sox and the Barons have had a great player development partnership for many years and we look forward to another great season of Barons baseball at Regions Park. I'm excited to work with my fellow coaches and I'm eager to get to know the fans in Birmingham as well," Subero said.

April 2008
2008
Southern League
Northern Division Southern Division
    Carolina Mudcats     Birmingham Barons
    Chattanooga Lookouts     Jacksonville Suns
    Huntsville Stars     Mississippi Braves
    Tennessee Smokies     Mobile BayBears
    West Tenn Diamond Jaxx        Montgomery Biscuits   

Birmingham Barons logo    Carolina Mudcats logo    Chattanooga Lookouts logo    Huntsville Stars logo
                
Jacksonville Suns logo   Mississippi Braves logo   Mobile BayBears logo   Montgomery Biscuits logo
                
Tennessee Smokies logo   West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx        

December 3, 2008
     xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  Manager Everardo Magallanes
Everardo "Ever" Magallanes is named the new Birmingham Barons manager for 2009. Magallanes spent the past 3 seasons as a manager in the Los Angeles Angels minor league system.

Magallanes, 42, has a 179-156 record in 3 years as a manager, including a 67-74 mark this past season at Class A Rancho Cucamonga of the California League.

A native of Chihuahua, Mexico, Magallanes has steadily made his way up the managerial ladder, coaching the Angels' rookie Arizona League affiliate to a 34-21 record and a playoff spot in 2006 and their Class A Cedar Rapids affiliate to a 78-61 record and a Midwest League playoff berth in 2007.

A left-handed-hitting middle infielder, he began his pro career in 1987 as a 10th-Round draft pick by Cleveland out of Texas A&M University. He would appear in three games with the parent club Indians in 1991, his only Major League service time, before signing with the Chicago White Sox the following season as a free agent. Prior to the 1993 campaign, Magallanes was traded to the Texas Rangers and spent two seasons in their organization. He played his final decade as a pro in the Mexican League from 1995-2005, save a brief 16-game stint in the Arizona Diamondbacks system in 2004.

"Over the years we have been fortunate enough to have great Barons field managers who develop our players into major leaguers, win championships and make positive contributions to the Birmingham community," said Barons General Manager Jonathan Nelson.

April 2009
2009
Southern League
Northern Division Southern Division
    Carolina Mudcats     Birmingham Barons
    Chattanooga Lookouts     Jacksonville Suns
    Huntsville Stars     Mississippi Braves
    Tennessee Smokies     Mobile BayBears
    West Tenn Diamond Jaxx        Montgomery Biscuits   

Birmingham Barons logo    Carolina Mudcats logo    Chattanooga Lookouts logo    Huntsville Stars logo
                
Jacksonville Suns logo   Mississippi Braves logo   Mobile BayBears logo   Montgomery Biscuits logo
                
Tennessee Smokies logo   West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx        

April 2010
2010
Southern League
Northern Division Southern Division
    Carolina Mudcats     Birmingham Barons
    Chattanooga Lookouts     Jacksonville Suns
    Huntsville Stars     Mississippi Braves
    Tennessee Smokies     Mobile BayBears
    West Tenn Diamond Jaxx        Montgomery Biscuits   

Birmingham Barons logo    Carolina Mudcats logo    Chattanooga Lookouts logo    Huntsville Stars logo
                
Jacksonville Suns logo   Mississippi Braves logo   Mobile BayBears logo   Montgomery Biscuits logo
                
Tennessee Smokies logo   West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx        

September 6, 2010
Immediately following the final regular season game of 2010, the ownership group of the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx announce their intention to change the name of the team to the Jackson Generals. The team's home is Jackson, Tennessee.

Tom Hanson, West Tennessee's general manager, explained the change by saying, "This just makes sense on a lot of levels. Most people aren't aware of the rich history of baseball in Jackson and West Tennessee. It dates all the way back to 1903. We're excited about the new branding initiative and the overwhelming fan support just at the mention of renaming the team. We've set some attendance records for the season just since the announcement and we haven't even revealed the new brand yet."

November 4, 2010
After weeks of speculation, the Birmingham Barons sign a tentative agreement with the city of Birmingham to move downtown if the city builds a new baseball stadium. The new ballpark would be built near the recently opened Railroad Park.

Birmingham Mayor William Bell and Barons owner Don Logan, who signed the agreement at a UAB pep rally, said a final agreement could be complete within five days. The City Council would be involved at that point. If a final agreement is reached, construction could begin as early as January or February.

Bell said signing a permanent tenant was critical to the project. "Now we have the framework in which we can go forward. We are finalizing a lot of things for the actual agreement which will have to go before the City Council," Bell said.

Logan has been open for years to returning the Barons to Birmingham, but only if it made good business sense. "The whole trend has been to develop downtown stadiums both for major league and minor league. It's also seen as a catalyst for growth in and around the (new Railroad) park. It's just a great place to be," Logan said.

The new stadium would actually hold less fans than Regions Park where the Barons have played since 1988. Regions Park holds 10,000 while the proposed ballpark would hold 8,500. Logan says the proposed configuration is common for the newer ballparks and the team wants a stadium that appeals to a cross-section of fans. The stadium is projected to cost around $39 to $48 million. Land costs have been estimated to run from $4 to $10 million. The stadium would be funded by increasing the city's lodging tax 3.5 percentage points which was approved by the City Council late last month.

Bell said the stadium would be the anchor for a redevelopment area called Parkside, which would extend from Railroad Park across Interstate 65 to the former Trinity Steel Industrial site.

Hoover Mayor Tony Petelos expressed disappointment when told of the signing. "I'm truly disappointed they didn't contact me or anyone from the city of Hoover staff of their intention. We've had a good working relation ship for 20 years. We have a great, safe stadium and we are disappointed they are going to be leaving," Petelos said.

The Barons' lease with the city of Hoover expires in December. Logan hopes the city of Hoover will work with the Barons to make a smooth transition while the new stadium is being built. There is a five-year renewal option.

However, Petelos said Hoover is not interested in a short-term lease with the Barons.

Bell understands the Barons situation and hopes to have the new ballpark ready within 18 months. "We realize they are under some time constraints. The sooner we can get started the better," Bell said.

December 20, 2010
     xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  Manager Bobby Magallanes
The Barons announce the hiring of Bobby Magallanes as manager for the 2011 season. Bobby is the younger brother of former Barons manager Ever Magallanes, who lead the club for the last two seasons.

Bobby led the Class AA Arkansas Travelers to the 2008 Texas League Championship and owns a career managerial record of 448-531 over seven seasons.

Bobby, began his coaching career in 2002 with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim's rookie-level Arizona League affiliate in Tempe. In 2004, he was named manager of the Angels' Class-A affiliate in Cedar Rapids and enjoyed a three-year campaign with the Kernels, posting a 205-214 record. For the past three seasons, he has managed Arkansas to a 178-242 record.

A right-handed-hitting infielder, he began his pro career as a 50th-Round selection in 1989 draft by Seattle out of Cerritos College in California. In eight minor-league seasons with eight teams, Magallanes played in 545 games with a .249 (451-for-1814) batting average, 106 doubles, 2 triples, 46 home runs, 209 RBI and 451 runs.

April 2011
2011
Southern League
Northern Division Southern Division
    Carolina Mudcats     Birmingham Barons
    Chattanooga Lookouts        Jacksonville Suns
    Huntsville Stars     Mississippi Braves
    Jackson Generals     Mobile BayBears
    Tennessee Smokies        Montgomery Biscuits   

Birmingham Barons logo    Carolina Mudcats logo    Chattanooga Lookouts logo    Huntsville Stars logo
                
Jackson Generals logo   Jacksonville Suns logo   Mississippi Braves logo   Mobile BayBears logo
                
Montgomery Biscuits logo   Tennessee Smokies logo        

April 2012
2012
Southern League
Northern Division Southern Division
    Carolina Mudcats     Birmingham Barons
    Chattanooga Lookouts        Jacksonville Suns
    Huntsville Stars     Mississippi Braves
    Jackson Generals     Mobile BayBears
    Tennessee Smokies        Montgomery Biscuits   

Birmingham Barons logo    Carolina Mudcats logo    Chattanooga Lookouts logo    Huntsville Stars logo
                
Jackson Generals logo   Jacksonville Suns logo   Mississippi Braves logo   Mobile BayBears logo
                
Montgomery Biscuits logo   Tennessee Smokies logo        

December 18, 2012
     Photograph 
  Manager Julio Vinas
The Barons announce the hiring of Julio Vinas as manager for the 2013 season.

Last season, Julio was manager of the Class A Kannapolis Intimidators.

Vinas was drafted in 1991 and enjoyed an 11-year Major League playing career with four different clubs, including the Chicago White Sox. In 1995, he was a catcher with the Birmingham Barons.

His coaching career began in the Orioles organization in 2001 as the Field Coach with the Gulf Coast Orioles. From 2002-04 Vinas served as a Roving Hitting Instructor for the Orioles before spending six seasons as their Minor League Hitting Coordinator from 2005-10.

His first managerial opportunity came in 2011 when he returned to the White Sox organization as the Manager of the Class A Winston-Salem Dash.

April 2013
2013
Southern League
Northern Division Southern Division
    Birmingham Barons     Jacksonville Suns
    Chattanooga Lookouts        Mississippi Braves
    Huntsville Stars     Mobile BayBears
    Jackson Generals     Montgomery Biscuits
    Tennessee Smokies        Pensacola Blue Wahoos   

Birmingham Barons logo    Chattanooga Lookouts logo    Huntsville Stars logo    Jackson Generals logo
                
Jacksonville Suns logo   Mississippi Braves logo   Mobile BayBears logo   Montgomery Biscuits logo
                
Pensacola Blue Wahoos logo   Tennessee Smokies logo        

September 15, 2013
The Barons win the 2013 Southern League championship by beating the Mobile BayBears 3 games to 2.

This is the 6th title for the Barons, and the deciding game was played in the Barons new downtown ballpark.

"It's been a great experience. I've said from Day One, this is a special group of guys and that's how it played out all year. They never gave in, kept battling. It was a really incredible year. The celebration after was well worth it for them. They really deserved it," said Barons manager Julio Vinas.

     Photograph
  Birmingham Barons celebrate their Southern League championship.

April 2014
2014
Southern League
Northern Division Southern Division
    Birmingham Barons     Jacksonville Suns
    Chattanooga Lookouts        Mississippi Braves
    Huntsville Stars     Mobile BayBears
    Jackson Generals     Montgomery Biscuits
    Tennessee Smokies        Pensacola Blue Wahoos   

Birmingham Barons logo    Chattanooga Lookouts logo    Huntsville Stars logo    Jackson Generals logo
                
Jacksonville Suns logo   Mississippi Braves logo   Mobile BayBears logo   Montgomery Biscuits logo
                
Pensacola Blue Wahoos logo   Tennessee Smokies logo        


April 2015
2015
Southern League
Northern Division Southern Division
    Birmingham Barons     Biloxi Shuckers
    Chattanooga Lookouts        Jacksonville Suns
    Jackson Generals     Mississippi Braves
    Montgomery Biscuits     Mobile BayBears
    Tennessee Smokies        Pensacola Blue Wahoos   

Biloxi Shuckers logo    Birmingham Barons logo    Chattanooga Lookouts logo    Jackson Generals logo
                
Jacksonville Suns logo    Mississippi Braves logo    Mobile BayBears logo    Montgomery Biscuits logo
                
Pensacola Blue Wahoos logo   Tennessee Smokies logo        

January 19, 2016
     Photograph 
  Manager Ryan Newman
The Barons announce the hiring of Ryan Newman as manager for the 2016 season. For the past two seasons, Newman was manager of the Triple A Charlotte Knights.

Prior to Charlotte, Newman was the manager of Class-A Winston-Salem Dash in 2013. His past managerial experience has taken him to Short Season Great Falls from 2011-12 and Short Season Bristol from 2009-10. He guided Great Falls to a Pioneer League Championship in 2011. Before joining the White Sox organization, he spent time coaching in the Detroit Tigers and Pittsburgh Pirates organizations.

Newman was originally drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 37th round of the 2000 free-agent draft, but did not sign. He later enjoyed a three-year Minor League playing career in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. Newman is the son of former Major League catcher Jeff Newman, who spent a total of nine-years with the Oakland A's and Boston Red Sox.



April 2016
     Southern League logo















2016
Southern League
Northern Division Southern Division
    Birmingham Barons     Biloxi Shuckers
    Chattanooga Lookouts        Jacksonville Suns
    Jackson Generals     Mississippi Braves
    Montgomery Biscuits     Mobile BayBears
    Tennessee Smokies        Pensacola Blue Wahoos   

Biloxi Shuckers logo    Birmingham Barons logo    Chattanooga Lookouts logo    Jackson Generals logo
                
Jacksonville Suns logo    Mississippi Braves logo    Mobile BayBears logo    Montgomery Biscuits logo
                
Pensacola Blue Wahoos logo   Tennessee Smokies logo        

November 16, 2016
The Birmingham Barons announce Julio Vinas will return as manager for the 2017 season.

Vinas will enter his fourth season as Barons manager after leading Birmingham from 2013-15 compiling a 206-213 record. During his first tenure as Barons manager he led the organization to its 14th Southern League Championship during the inaugural season at Regions Field in 2013.

In 2016, Vinas managed the White Sox Triple-A affiliate, Charlotte Knights, to a 65-79 record finishing just a half game shy of the International League South Division title.

"We are excited to welcome Julio Vinas back to Birmingham to lead the Barons in 2017. Julio and his family not only enjoyed their previous time in Birmingham but contributed to this community in so many positive ways. When you look back at our first season at Regions Field, it was Julio who helped make 2013 so special as we captured the Southern League Championship in dramatic fashion," said Barons General Manager Jonathan Nelson.

April 2017
2017
Southern League
North Division South Division
    Birmingham Barons     Biloxi Shuckers
    Chattanooga Lookouts        Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp    
    Jackson Generals     Mississippi Braves
    Montgomery Biscuits     Mobile BayBears
    Tennessee Smokies        Pensacola Blue Wahoos   

Biloxi Shuckers logo    Birmingham Barons logo    Chattanooga Lookouts logo    Jackson Generals logo
                
Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp logo    Mississippi Braves logo    Mobile BayBears logo    Montgomery Biscuits logo
                
Pensacola Blue Wahoos logo   Tennessee Smokies logo        



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Last update: May 13, 2018