A.H. "Rick" Woodward
born: in Wheeling, WV
Mr. Woodward was the owner of the Birmingham Barons from 1909-1937. In 1910 he built what was at the time, the finest baseball stadium in the minor leagues, Rickwood Field. Today, Rickwood Field is the oldest active baseball park in America; and in 2010 will celebrate its 100 year anniversary. A native of Wheeling, West Virginia, he was born on September 16, 1876. He played baseball collegiately at Sewanee (University of the South) from 1892-1895 and then at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) from 1896-1899.
Under Woodward’s ownership, the Birmingham Barons won five pennants, finished second three times, finished third nine times, and fourth twice. They also won two Dixie Series. In 1927 the team set a league record for winning 19 straight games. In 1928 the team set a record for highest team batting average (.331); and 13 players hit .300 or higher. The Barons reportedly sent more players to the majors than any other team during the Woodward ownership. The 1931opening game of the Dixie Series (the Ray Caldwell – Dizzy Dean pitching duel) set an attendance record of 27,701. He also spent time as the Vice President of the Southern League.
His other sporting interests included yachting, golf, hunting and fishing. He also built Woodward Golf Course in 1916. He was chairman of several large industries, chiefly Woodward Iron Co. He died on November 23, 1950 in Birmingham .
He is survived by nine grandchildren. They are Rick Woodward (Birmingham), Nick Woodward (Birmingham), Robert Woodward (Gulf Shores , AL.), Elizabeth Cox (Birmingham),William W. Webb (Chapel Hill, N.C.), James M. Burt (Birmingham), Sandra Arnold (Stewart, FL.), Mary Oestenstad (Birmingham ) and Ann McKee (Cashiers, N.C.).