SABR celebrates Opening Day 2024 with new collection of Games Project stories

Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama, a 2022 SABR Local Grant recipient

MARCH 28, 2024 — As we celebrate the start of a new baseball season in 2024, the SABR Games Project has published a variety of new stories on memorable Opening Day games. Articles feature defending champions and postseason rematches, challenges involving springtime weather, debut games of distinguished playing and managing careers, and fallout from offseason rule changes.

One hundred years ago in 1924, the Negro National League welcomed a new club for its fifth season of play: the Birmingham Black Barons. The Black Barons, previously of the Negro Southern League, joined Black baseball’s first major league as its southernmost member.

The Black Barons played their first Negro National League game at their home park, Rickwood Field, on April 28, 1924, defeating the Cuban Stars, 6-3. Left-hander Sam Streeter struck out six while pitching a complete game, and future Hall of Famer George “Mule” Suttles drove in and scored runs in the Black Barons’ decisive five-run third inning.

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Black Barons’ Negro National League debut at Rickwood Park – which on June 20 will host a regular-season game between the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals – the SABR Games Project presents Donna Halper’s account of the game between the Black Barons and Cuban Stars.

Here are more new Opening Day stories from the SABR Games Project:

To find more stories from the SABR Games Project, visit

Originally published: March 28, 2024. Last Updated: March 27, 2024.