Baseball Father-and-Son Have Their Day in the Sun at Rickwood Field

Nick Dobbs Receives Award for His Late Father

Wednesday, July 2, 2014 - by B.B. Branton
Barons Hall of Fame: Nick Dobbs (second from the right) receives hall of fame plaque for his late father, Johnny Dobbs, from members of the Birmingham Barons front office; Jeff Logan (co-owner), Jonathan Nelson (general manager), Nick Dobbs, Stan Logan (co-owner)
Barons Hall of Fame: Nick Dobbs (second from the right) receives hall of fame plaque for his late father, Johnny Dobbs, from members of the Birmingham Barons front office; Jeff Logan (co-owner), Jonathan Nelson (general manager), Nick Dobbs, Stan Logan (co-owner)
- photo by Ben Jackson

It was the summer of 1929 in Birmingham and 7-year-old Nick Dobbs spent most of his time during those summer months at Rickwood Field watching and cheering on the Birmingham Barons who were on their way to winning the Southern Association pennant.

Thankful that his dad, Johnny Dobbs, was the Barons manager, Nick had a free pass to the games to watch a solid pitching staff with a pair of 20-game winners and six regulars who hit .300 or better win the teams’ second straight pennant ahead of Southern Association members including Chattanooga Lookouts, Atlanta Crackers and the New Orleans Pelicans.

Fast forward 85 years, and on another summer afternoon (last Wednesday) Chattanooga native Nick Dobbs stood between the dugout and home plate at Rickwood Field to accept a plaque from the Barons as they inducted the late Johnny Dobbs into the organization’s hall of fame.

“Being part of my dad’s induction into the Birmingham Barons hall of fame last week was a great thrill and I am grateful they selected him,” said Dobbs.

Johnny Dobbs was the Barons manager for five years (1925-29) with a record of 427-323, led the Barons to a franchise record 99 wins in 1928 and the Dixie World Series title in 1929.

Nick also had free tickets to games in Atlanta in 1930 and 1931 as his dad was the Atlanta Crackers manager for those two seasons and one season in Charlotte before passing away in 1934 at age of 59.

“The late 20s was a long time ago so I don’t remember a lot of specifics of the games at Rickwood Field, but I do recall enjoying being at the ball park and watching the Barons win pennants in 1928 and ’29.”

Johnny Dobbs and the Lookouts: Dobbs’ 25-year minor league managerial career took him to Nashville (1907), Chattanooga (1909-1910), Montgomery (1911-13), New Orleans (1914-22) and Memphis (1923-24) prior to the Barons job.

At the time of his death in 1934, he had managed more pennant winners (5) in the South than any other manager; Chattanooga (1909), New Orleans (1915, ’18), Birmingham (1928-29).

 Dobbs spent five seasons in the major leagues (1901-1905) with the Cincinnati Red, Chicago Cubs and the Brooklyn Supras. His best season was 1902 as he batted .297 in 63 games with the Reds and .302 with the Cubs in 59 games with 147 hits, 15 doubles, five triples and one home run.

19th Rickwood Classic: The Barons hold their hall of fame induction ceremonies each year during the Rickwood Classic.

Barons Hall of Fame Class of 2014:

Johnny Dobbs ... Barons manager, 1925-29 ... led club to Southern Association titles in 1928-29 ... and Dixie Series title in 1929 ... 437-323 in five seasons

Joe Grzenda ... Pitcher ... 17-7 on Birmingham's 1958 pennant winning team and 5-0 on the 1967 championship team ... plaeyd eight seasons in the Major Leagues with six teams, including Detroit, Kansas City and St. Louis ... best season was 5-2 with Washington Senators in 1971

Mike Cameron ... Barons, 1995-96 ... In 1996, he hit .300 with 28 home runs, 77 RBIs and 39 stolen bases ... named the White Sox Minor League Player of the Year ... one of 16 players to hit 4 home runs in a major league game, May 2, 2002 with Seattle Mariners.

Gabby Bell ... Barons radio play-by-play man ...  broadcast Barons games from 1948 to the late 1950s.

contact B.B. Branton at  

Lee Wins In Overtime At Valdosta State Thanksgiving Tournament

 In an old fashioned shootout, the Lee men’s basketball team converted 5-of-6 free throws in overtime and turned back a talented College of Coastal Georgia team in the first day of the Valdosta State Thanksgiving Classic on Friday evening. Regulation play ended with the contest knotted at 86. The Flames controlled the tip in overtime and finally gained the lead they never ... (click for more)

UTC's McLean Leads Mocs Past Alabama State 95-58

Tre’ McLean’s career-high 18 points led four in double digits as the Chattanooga Mocs rolled to a 95-58 win over Alabama State in the opening round of its bracket in the Emerald Coast Classic. The 37-point margin of victory is the largest against a DI opponent in almost 19 years, an 83-46 triumph over Wofford (Jan. 6, 1997). “"The thing I was most impressed with our guys is ... (click for more)

Shots Fired From Vehicle; Police Locate Car And Arrest 5 Youths With Guns

Chattanooga Police said shots were fired from a vehicle on Friday afternoon, then officers located the vehicle and arrested five youths with guns.   That comes after a spate of shooting violence in which two women were killed and several other people injured by bullets.   Just after 4 p.m. Friday,  officers with the Chattanooga Police Department responded ... (click for more)

City Considering Measure That Would Require City Employees To Be Tennessee Residents

The City Council is considering an ordinance that would require city employees to be residents of the state of Tennessee. The city has employees who live in North Georgia and North Alabama and that is allowed.  If the ordinance is approved by the City Council, it still would need to be okayed by a majority of city voters in an election. The measure will be considered ... (click for more)

An Extra Helping Of Gratitude

After being thankful for the grace of God, my family and good health, this year I have an extra helping of gratitude to live in a special place called Chattanooga.   We endured the trauma of terrorism on July 16 and emerged more united and stronger than ever before.  We claim our heritage and celebrate our diversity like no other city in America.  We honor our ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: We Can’t ‘Ban The Box’

I know a man who has over 20 former convicts from federal prisons who either work for him or who have retired with their dignity, pride, and self-worth restored. Better yet, I know some of them, men who have done “hard time” in prisons so wretched none of us would dare to go. So on the surface I applaud City Councilman Yusef Hakeem for seeing ways to get formerly incarcerated men ... (click for more)