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Alabama has played a significant role in the history of American sports, and not just one but a multitude of sports.

Alabama Sports

In fact many well-known athletes began their careers in Alabama!

One of Alabama’s more famous athletes Jesse Owens, who was born in Oakville, Alabama, is lauded as perhaps one of the greatest athletes in American track and field, and was the first American to win four gold medals at a single Olympic Games in 1936.

There’s also Major League Baseball’s famous center fielder, Willie Mays, who played major league baseball for 22 years for the New York/San Francisco Giants before finishing his career with the New York Mets. Born and raised in Westfield, Alabama.

Alabama's Nascar royal family is the Allisons and Bobby Allison founded the Alabama Gang, a group of drivers based in Hueytown, Alabama, who won lots of short-track races with high payouts. Allison won the Daytona 500 three times over the course of his career and his son Davey Allison, followed in his footsteps, making a name for himself in the industry until his life was cut short due to a helicopter accident in 1993. Davey’s legacy includes 86 wins in 10 years. 

Other famous Alabama sports figures include Charles Barkley, Bo Jackson, Joe Namath, Bear Bryant, Nick Saban, Tommy Tuberville, Mark Ingram, Julio Jones, Pat Sullivan and Cam Newton.

There are many opportunities to experience Alabama’s contribution to sports history when visiting the state.

Alabama Sports Hall of Fame - Birmingham:

This museum has memorabilia from 323 inductees including Paul Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden, Carl Lewis and Jesse Owens. In addition to a theatre and touch-screen videos, visitors will see two Heisman trophies, three World Series trophies plus others.

Rickwood Field - Birmingham:

As the world’s oldest ballpark, Rickwood Field is being restored to its original glory of 1910. The ballpark was home to the Birmingham Black Barons, the Birmingham Barons and the Oakland A’s farm teams. Many baseball legends, such as Willie Mays, Babe Ruth, Piper Davis and Hank Aaron showcased their talent at this park. 

Negro Southern League Museum - Birmingham:

The Negro Southern League Museum (NSLM) tells the story of African-American baseball through the lens of Birmingham, Alabama. The museum features the largest collection of original Negro League baseball artifacts in the country. The museum also features an on-site research center that is supported by a research team made up of the top researchers in Negro League and Southern League baseball history. 

Barber Motorsports Park - Birmingham:

Since its opening in 2003, Barber Motorsports Park has established itself as one of the finest courses for car and motorcycle racing in North America. The park has been the host site for a number of international events, product launches, races and sporting events. 

Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum - Birmingham:

George Barber raced and maintained Porsches in the 1960s and began collecting and restoring classic cars and motorcycles in 1989. Barber soon recognised that there was not a museum in the United States dedicated to preserving the history of motorcycles, nationally or internationally, so this is the theme of the Barber Collection. The collection now has over 900 vintage and modern motorcycles as well as a substantial collection of Lotus cars and other brands of race cars and is considered the largest in North America and possibly the world. 

There are approximately five hundred motorcycles on display at any given time. (There are over 900 in the collection.)  There are bikes from 16 countries that represent 143 different marques and their production ranges from 1904 to current day. The common street bike is represented, as well as rare one-off Grand Prix race machinery. 

Legion Field - Birmingham:

Legion Field Stadium, also affectionately known as the “The Old Gray Lady,”  was completed in 1927 as a 21,000-seat venue. This venue was placed in the global spotlight as the host site for Flag Football, presented by the NFL, during the 2022 World Games. 

International Motorsports Hall of Fame - Lincoln: 

More than 100 racing vehicles and memorabilia, dating back to 1902 are located at this museum in Talladega. This museum offers a walking, self-guided tour that takes about an hour to complete. There are three exhibit halls and a pavilion, as well as the McCaig-Welborn Motorsports Research Library with over 14,000 books, magazines and research materials available to the public. 

Bryant-Denny Stadium - Tuscaloosa:

This is one of the largest college football stadiums in the country and is the home of the University of Alabama football team. It opened in 1929 at only 12,000 crowd capacity but today it has been expanded to seat more than 101,000 fans.

For more information on any of the above email alabama@deep-south-usa.com 


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