Baseball legend Willie Mays announced that he would not be making the trip back home this week to watch Major League Baseball's (MLB) Field of Dreams game at Rickwood Field in Birmingham.

The San Francisco Giants will play the St. Louis Cardinals at "America's oldest baseball park," Rickwood Field, on Thursday, in a game that "will include a variety of activities as a tribute to the Negro Leagues and its greatest living player – Hall of Famer, Giants Legend, Birmingham native and Birmingham Black Barons player Willie Mays," per the City of Birmingham.

Mays grew up in Fairfield and played for the Black Barons, who played their home games at Rickwood Field of the Negro American League until signing with the Giants after graduating high school in 1950.

The 93-year-old 24-time All-Star thanked MLB and fans for putting on the game and hoped the game would inspire more people to play baseball.

"I'm not able to get to Birmingham this year but will follow the game back here in the Bay Area," Mays said in a statement to the San Francisco Chronicle.

"My heart will be with all of you who are honoring the Negro League ballplayers, who should always be remembered, including all my teammates on the Black Barons. I wanted to thank Major League Baseball, the Giants, the Cardinals and all the fans who'll be at Rickwood or watching the game. It'll be a special day, and I hope the kids will enjoy it and be inspired by it," he added.

Mays is tied with Stan Musial for second-most All-Star appearances behind Mobile's Hank Aaron's 25.

Rickwood Field will also host a Minor League Baseball game on Tuesday between the Double-A Birmingham Barons and the Montgomery Biscuits. The teams will wear uniforms representing former Negro League teams in their cities. The Barons will suit up as the Black Barons, and the Biscuits will honor the Montgomery Gray Sox.

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