Sony Pixel Power calrec Sony

Live From MLB at Rickwood Field: FOX Sports Celebrates Black Baseball With Special Broadcast in Birmingham

20/06/2024

Live From MLB at Rickwood Field: FOX Sports Celebrates Black Baseball With Special Broadcast in Birmingham Camera platforms built on stadium roof plus pair of drones capture the history By Brandon Costa, Director of Digital

Thursday, June 20, 2024 - 4:11 pm

Print This Story | Subscribe

Story Highlights

Opened in 1910, Rickwood Field in Birmingham, AL, is the oldest standing ballpark in the U.S. It was built before Wrigley Field, before Fenway Park.

In today's age of manufactured fan experiences, this 8,300-seat piece of American history is the real deal for anyone who cares about the sport of baseball and the history of this country.

To produce tonight's one-off broadcast of the MLB at Rickwood Field game between the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals, FOX Sports has brought in a thorough effort to pay tribute to the Negro Leagues, baseball's history of black players, and late, great Birmingham native Willie Mays.

FOX Sports will broadcast the MLB at Rickwood Field game live from Birmingham, AL, tonight.

Anytime you're able to be part of history and see it as it existed for thousands upon thousands of players before you, it's just absolutely unbelievable, says Brad Cheney, VP, operations and engineering, FOX Sports. We're excited that we've been able to work with Major League Baseball to bring fans to a place that, quite honestly, they might not have known existed or still exists. To be able to show that off while nodding our caps to the Negro Leagues and what all those players really meant to baseball, it's truly spectacular.

Strategic Camera Plan Adapts to Environment This isn't your typical FOX Sports production story, breaking down the 100+ cameras, a bevy of specialties, and a wealth of high-tech production toys. This is a much more understated effort befitting the historical nature of the ballpark and the event itself. Sure, two drones from Beverly Hills Aerials flying overhead will certainly help set the scene, and a pair of Megalodons will be shooting for a close-up cinematic feel, but, all-in-all, only 26 cameras are spread around the ballpark for game coverage.

Posing with a vintage team bus is the FOX Sports operations team working the MLB at Rickwood Field game. In bus windows (from left): Anil Letherwala, Dylan Burns, Sid Drexler, Lou D'Ermilio, Pan Chvotkin, Taihe Miller, Nick Utley, and Johanna Johnson. Standing (from left): Brian Obert, Tom Lynch, Judy Acone, Francisco Contreras, Spencer Wilkins, Mike Crum, Sam D'Amico, Tanner Acone, Patricia Fischer, Rod Conti, Jennifer Freund, Brady Polansky, and Brad Cheney. (Photo: FOX Sports)

Perhaps the most notable fact of the camera plan for Rickwood is that five of the primary game-coverage cameras are on custom platforms built on Rickwood Stadium's roof. Given the absence of camera wells in the historic ballpark, the traditional camera positions deployed on a Major League Baseball game are up on that roof, just over the outfield walls, or on the ends of the newly renovated and expanded dugouts.

The announce booth - where play-by-play Joe Davis and analyst John Smoltz will call the game - is also built on the stadium's roof. This setup has required a great deal of attention to structural integrity and was subject to numerous safety clearances with the stadium staff and MLB. It's a challenge for FOX, which typically broadcasts from an established MLB stadium. Even at events like Field of Dreams, the crew works in a space designed and built for broadcast. That is not the case at a building like Rickwood, where the history and the charm of the building is rooted in an era even before radio broadcasts were possible.

Given a lack of camera wells in Rickwood Field, FOX Sports has built five camera platforms of the stadium's roof.

There was a lot of work that went in here, says Cheney, referencing numerous site visits to the ballpark. It's a lot of conversations. It's measured twice, cut once. If you put something even slightly in the wrong spot, it won't work because it has been engineered for that spot. We spent a lot of time and a lot of work making sure the venue was safe. It's a lot of things that we hope viewers will never even see.

MORE FROM MLB AT RICKWOOD FIELD:

FOX Sports' Francisco Contreras and Tom Lynch Dive Into the Operations Plan

FOX Sports' Negro Leagues Tribute Game Aims To Take Sound Way Back

MLB Renovation Highlights the Historic Venue's Heyday

MLB Network Eulogizes Willie Mays in Real Time During Tuesday's MiLB Broadcast

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Connects Rich History to Tribute in Birmingham

The FOX Sports operations team here on the ground in Birmingham includes Lead Operations Manager Judy Acone; Operations Managers Jennifer Fruend, Nick Utley, and Pam Chvotkin; and Tech Managers Sid Drexler, Brian Obert, and Taihe Miller.

The Willie Mays Factor It's more than longevity that makes Rickwood Field special. It's a genuine historical site, the kind of place where you feel the ghosts.

Although the ballpark has never served as an MLB venue before now, 181 of the 351 players enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame are believed to have played in it, whether as Negro Leaguers or doing barnstorming Spring Training games in the middle of the 20th century. Those names include iconic Negro League players Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, and Cool Papa Bell; MLB legends Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Stan Musial, Ted Williams, and Joe DiMaggio; and MLB stars with Negro League roots like Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron, and, of course, Willie Mays, who played for the Birmingham Black Barons at Rickwood Field in 1948, when he was just 17 years old.

Additional camera positions have been cleared at the ends of each dugout. The dugouts at Rickwood Field were remodeled and expanded to account fo
LINK: https://www.sportsvideo.org/2024/06/20/live-from-mlb-at-rickwood-field...
See more stories from svg

More from Sports Video Group

12/07/2024

Fox Sports Heads to Berlin for Euro Final; Wraps Up Massive Month of International Soccer Coverage

Fox Sports Heads to Berlin for Euro Final; Wraps Up Massive Month of Internation...

12/07/2024

Euro 2024: UEFA Gets Set for Spain v England Final

Euro 2024: UEFA gets set for Spain v England final By George Bevir Friday, July 12, 2024 - 11:19 Print This Story When England take on Spain on Sunday in ...

12/07/2024

Euro 2024: Inside UEFA's International Broadcast Centre

Euro 2024: Inside UEFA's International Broadcast Centre By George Bevir Friday, July 12, 2024 - 08:00 Print This Story The IBC in Leipzig, Germany (Ph...

12/07/2024

NBC Sports Bay Area & California's Rusty West on Vendor Partnerships Bringing Broadcast Elements to Life

NBC Sports Bay Area & California's Rusty West on Vendor Partnerships Bringin...

12/07/2024

Long-time PSSI Broadcast/Mechanical Engineer Paul Blomstrom Dead at 44

Long-time PSSI Broadcast/Mechanical Engineer Paul Blomstrom Dead at 44 By Ken Kerschbaumer, Editorial Director Friday, July 12, 2024 - 12:55 pm Print This ...

12/07/2024

SVG Sit-Down: FOX Sports' Michael Bucklin Explores Successful Live Social Video During Euros, Copa Amrica

SVG Sit-Down: FOX Sports' Michael Bucklin Explores Successful Live Social Vi...

11/07/2024

European Aquatics Championships: Omnicam4Sky Special Camera Captures Split Images Above, Below Water

European Aquatics Championships: Omnicam4Sky special camera captures split image...

11/07/2024

Grass Valley, Diversified Partner on Multimillion-Dollar Strategic Partnership Agreement

Grass Valley, Diversified Partner on Multimillion-Dollar Strategic Partnership A...

11/07/2024

Augmented Reality via Quintar in the Works for Atlanta Hawks, State Farm Arena Fans

Augmented Reality via Quintar in the Works for Atlanta Hawks, State Farm Arena F...

11/07/2024

NBC Sports Bay Area & California's Devon Fox on Elevating Viewer Access, Showcasing Beautiful Oracle Park With Tech

NBC Sports Bay Area & California's Devon Fox on Elevating Viewer Access, Sho...

11/07/2024

Revved Up in the Cloud: AWS Augments NASCAR Tracks App With 60 Live Feeds

Revved Up in the Cloud: AWS Augments NASCAR Tracks App With 60 Live Feeds Cloud-based workflows have improved the in-venue fan experience By SVG Staff Thursd...

11/07/2024

Wimbledon 2024: All-New ESPN Broadcast Center Adds Flexibility and Focus to Coverage

Wimbledon 2024: All-new ESPN broadcast centre adds flexibility and focus to cove...

11/07/2024

Paris 2024: NBCUniversal to Present 400+ Hours of 4K HDR/Dolby Atmos Coverage on USA Network

Paris 2024: NBCUniversal to Present 400+ Hours of 4K HDR/Dolby Atmos Coverage on...

10/07/2024

Diversified's Christine Williamson on Supporting Collegiate Programs During an Era of Seismic Shift

Diversified's Christine Williamson on Supporting Collegiate Programs During ...

10/07/2024

SVG College Summit 2024: Sessions Now Available To Watch on SVG PLAY

SVG College Summit 2024: Sessions Now Available To Watch on SVG PLAY By Brandon Costa, Director of Digital Wednesday, July 10, 2024 - 12:22 pm Print This S...

09/07/2024

Paris 2024: NBC Olympics' Technical Efforts Will Be Four Times Larger Than the Tokyo 2020 Games'

Paris 2024: NBC Olympics Technical Efforts Will Be Four Times Larger Than the To...

09/07/2024

Monumental Sports Network's Ryan Billie on the Continued Success of the Relaunched RSN

Monumental Sports Network's Ryan Billie on the Continued Success of the Rela...

09/07/2024

Tech Focus: Sports & Entertainment Production - In Convergence, Two Massive Worlds Share Venues and Infrastructure

Tech Focus: Sports & Entertainment Production - In Convergence, Two Massive Worl...

09/07/2024

Dallas Stars Depart Bally Sports; Launch New VICTORY+ Free DTC Ad-Supported Streaming Service

Dallas Stars Depart Bally Sports; Launch New VICTORY Free DTC Ad-Supported Stre...

09/07/2024

HBS Leads XR Sports Alliance to Deliver Fan Experiences No Longer Constrained to the Limitations of TV

HBS leads XR Sports Alliance to deliver fan experiences no longer constrained t...

09/07/2024

FIS Spotlight: International Ski and Snowboard Federation Celebrates 100-year Anniversary, Embraces Future of Digital (3-Part Series)

FIS Spotlight: International Ski and Snowboard Federation Celebrates 100-year An...

08/07/2024

Olympic Swim Team Trials Put on a Show at Lucas Oil Stadium

Olympic Swim Team Trials Put on a Show at Lucas Oil Stadium The event posed new challenges for in-venue sound, broadcast audio By Dan Daley, Audio Editor Mon...

08/07/2024

Smith Entertainment Group's Caroline Klein on the Momentous First Season of Jazz+

Smith Entertainment Group's Caroline Klein on the Momentous First Season of ...

08/07/2024

SVG Rewind: NHL in ASL Alternate Broadcasts Bring Stanley Cup Final to the Deaf Community

SVG Rewind: NHL in ASL Alternate Broadcasts Bring Stanley Cup Final to the Deaf ...

08/07/2024

Experimenting With Power: Cloudbass on Pushing the Boundaries of Sustainable Production on Speedway with Tesla Powerwall Batteries

Experimenting with power: Cloudbass on pushing the boundaries of sustainable pro...

08/07/2024

Capturing the Imagination: Cloudbass Takes the Future of Battery-Powered Live Sports Production Forwards with Speedway

Capturing the imagination: Cloudbass takes the future of battery-powered live sp...

05/07/2024

NBC Sports, NASCAR Transform Downtown Chicago for Second Chapter in Street-Racing Odyssey

NBC Sports, NASCAR Transform Downtown Chicago for Second Chapter in Street-Racin...

03/07/2024

FAST Channels Rise Across India: Inside the Innovation in Content Distribution

FAST Channels Rise Across India: Inside the Innovation in Content Distribution Thought leaders from Disney Star India, Amagi, AWS share their expertise By SVG ...

03/07/2024

The FAST Channel Revolution: An Australian Perspective

The FAST Channel Revolution: An Australian Perspective Streaming leaders from Seven Network, Amagi, Grass Valley, TAG Video Systems offer their thoughts By SVG...

03/07/2024

FAST's Sports Arrival: How Streaming Is Coming Full Circle

FAST's Sports Arrival: How Streaming Is Coming Full Circle Leaders from ESPN, CBS Sports, Amagi, TAG Video Systems share their experiences By Jason Dachman...

02/07/2024

Slow and Steady: Inside ESPN's Patient Approach to Live Cloud Production

Slow and Steady: Inside ESPN's Patient Approach to Live Cloud Production ESPNs Director, Specialist Operations Chris Strong breaks down the cloud strategy a...

02/07/2024

Euro 2024: How (and Why) BBC Sport Opted for a Mixed Reality Presentation Studio for its Tournament Coverage

Euro 2024: How (and why) BBC Sport opted for a mixed reality presentation studio...

02/07/2024

Euro 2024: SRG Producing Tailored Unilateral Coverage in Multiple Languages for Swiss TV Viewers

Euro 2024: SRG producing tailored unilateral coverage in multiple languages for ...

02/07/2024

Florida Panthers Ink Localized Broadcast Agreement With Scripps Sports; Deal Includes Forthcoming DTC Platform

Florida Panthers Ink Localized Broadcast Agreement With Scripps Sports; Deal Inc...

02/07/2024

SVG Rewind: FloSports Makes History With First In-Car Camera on Short-Track Dirt Racing Livestream

SVG Rewind: FloSports Makes History With First In-Car Camera on Short-Track Dirt...

01/07/2024

Matt Sandulli on SNY's Unique Approach to Live Mets Game Coverage and Harnessing the Entertaining Grimace Subplot

Matt Sandulli on SNY's Unique Approach to Live Mets Game Coverage and Harnes...

28/06/2024

Transforming the Digital Foundation for a Future-Ready Production: A Grass Valley and Tata Communications Case Study

Transforming the Digital Foundation for a Future-Ready Production: A Grass Valle...

28/06/2024

Inside Look at How Sphere, NHL Collaborated To Make the 2024 NHL Draft a Must-See Event

Inside Look at How Sphere, NHL Collaborated To Make the 2024 NHL Draft a Must-Se...

28/06/2024

All About the Fans: SVNS Host Broadcaster Sunset+Vine Talks Cameras and Bringing the Festival Atmosphere to Viewers at Home

All about the fans: SVNS host broadcaster Sunset Vine talks cameras and bringing...

28/06/2024

Bright and Bold: AE Live NZ on Taking World Rugby's SVNS Tournament to the Next Graphical Level

Bright and bold: AE Live NZ on taking World Rugby's SVNS tournament to the n...

28/06/2024

Mobile TV Group's New CEO Nicholas Garvin on the Future of the Production Facilities Company

Mobile TV Group's New CEO Nicholas Garvin on the Future of the Production Fa...

28/06/2024

Thundering Hooves Get the Immersive-Sound Treatment

Thundering Hooves Get the Immersive-Sound Treatment Wireless mics get closer to the equestrian action, changing workflow in the process By Dan Daley, Audio Edi...

28/06/2024

SVG Regional Sports Production Summit Draws 250+ Attendees as Industry Faces Big Challenges, Opportunities

SVG Regional Sports Production Summit Draws 250+ Attendees as Industry Faces Big...

27/06/2024

Arena Sport and RTS Serbia Share Host Duties for European Aquatics Championships

Arena Sport and RTS Serbia share host duties for European Aquatics Championships By Fergal Ringrose Tuesday, June 25, 2024 - 09:01 Print This Story Arena ...

27/06/2024

Inside SailGP, Part 1: What It Takes To Cover Racing Action From Sea and Sky

Inside SailGP, Part 1: What It Takes To Cover Racing Action From Sea and Sky Lean, mean remote production relies on Riedel comms and video technology By Ken Ke...

27/06/2024

BIG EAST Conference Announces New Media Rights Agreement with FOX Sports, NBC Sports, TNT Sports

BIG EAST Conference Announces New Media Rights Agreement with FOX Sports, NBC Sp...

27/06/2024

Inside the Development of BBC Sports EURO 2024 Studio Operations with AE Live

Inside the Development of BBC Sports EURO 2024 Studio Operations with AE Live We're really excited about what we're delivering to football fans during o...

27/06/2024

Peacock Unveils Personalized Olympic Recipes Featuring the Voice of Legendary Sports Announcer Al Michaels Generated With AI

Peacock Unveils Personalized Olympic Recipes Featuring the Voice of Legendary Sp...

27/06/2024

Inside SailGP, Part 2: The View of New York from London

Inside SailGP Part 2: The view of New York from London By George Bevir Thursday, June 27, 2024 - 17:48 Print This Story Left to right: Director's assi...