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Friday, January 3, 2020

College Stadium in Jamestown saw pros, then collegiate

Jamestown Expos College Stadium card 1990

The stadium in Jamestown, NY, once known as College Stadium has been a stalwart of baseball in the western New York city.
It has since been named for another baseball stalwart of Jamestown, Russell E. Diethrick, Jr.

Along the way, the stadium hosted professional baseball almost continuously from the time of its completion to 2014. (The Greatest 21 Days visited for the second-to-last pro game there in 2014).

The stadium, also previously known as Municipal Stadium, has since become home to a summer collegiate team and continues to be home to local college and high school ball.

The stadium was originally opened in 1941 and started out as home of the Jamestown Falcons, a part of the Pennsylvania-Ontario-New York League, the forerunner of the NY-Penn League.

In the first game played there, May 6, 1941, Jamestown lost to Batavia 6-2, according to The Chautauqua County Star News.

The park then changed to College Stadium in 1964 to reference the newly built Jamestown Community College built next door.

The park then received the Diethrick name in 1997 to honor Diethrick. Diethrick had long been involved in baseball in the city, from youth to the pros.

Diethrick, who was inducted into the local Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame in 1982, served as the longtime recreation director in the city. Part of his duties involved supervising about 20 youth baseball leagues, according to the hall.

He also served as assistant GM for the Jamestown Falcons/Expos in the 1970s. He also worked on the National Babe Ruth Advisory Board and won a spot in their Hall of Fame in 1997.

Pro baseball in Jamestown continued until 2014, when the franchise moved to West Virginia. The last day of pro baseball in Jamestown saw a double-header. Jamestown won the first game, but lost the second. See photos from the final day and a video of the final win: Old NYPL: One last celebration for Jamestown.

Since the NYPL's departure, collegiate baseball has moved in. And, after a season's hiatus in 2019, collegiate baseball is set to return to Diethrick Park in 2020.
1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:3,262
Made the Majors:1,176-36.1%
Never Made Majors:2,086-63.9%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 486
10+ Seasons in the Minors:286

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