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Major League Baseball is staging a game at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama, formerly home to the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro American League, on Thursday night. The San Francsico Giants and St. Louis Cardinals will square off in a regular-season game at the former home of he Black Barons. They were the team with whom Willie Mays made his professional debut in 1948 at age 17

The game was already scheduled to honor the Negro Leagues and the impact they had on American professional baseball, but then Mays died earlier this week and now the contest has a feeling of greater significance. Here are the pertinent details.

MLB at Rickwood Field

Who: Giants vs. Cardinals
: Thursday, June 20 | Time: 7:15 p.m. ET
Location: Rickwood Field (Birmingham, Alabama)
Live stream: Fubo (try for free), MLB.TV | TV: Fox
Probable pitchers: RHP Keaton Winn (3-7, 6.66) vs. RHP Andre Pallante (2-3, 4.61)
Odds: SF -115 | STL -105; over/under: 90


Giants: The Giants come in having lost four of six and one of those wins needed a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth. They have been inconsistent and overall not very good, though the 36-39 record right now means they are only one game out of the third NL wild-card spot. Winn closed April with three very good starts, but has a 13.02 ERA in five starts since. He did have a quality start last time out, but three runs allowed in six innings against the Angels is hardly overly encouraging. 

Cardinals: The Cardinals recently played good enough baseball to rise above .500 for the first time since they were 5-4, but they've since lost two straight to the lowly Marlins, both in walk-off fashion. Sitting 36-37, they trail the Brewers by 7.5 games in the NL Central, but that's good enough in this National League for second place and the second wild-card (they are tied with the Nationals, occupying the second and third spots). Pallante was a reliever to begin the year and has only now made four starts, averaging 4 1/3 innings per start with a 3.63 ERA. He only threw 59 pitches last time out, but the bullpen got worked awfully hard in Miami with an extra-inning win and two late losses. 


First off, MLB is going to put together a pre-game video package to honor not only the Negro Leagues but also Mays. The best bet is they'll do an excellent job with at least the Mays one, probably both. 

As far as the game itself, it kind of takes a back seat at this point, rightfully, but there are plenty of reasons to watch. 

It's extremely hot, which means the ball will carry. We have no idea how this ballpark will play, obviously, but I'm betting on a slugfest. 

Giants 8, Cardinals 7