Russell E. Diethrick, Jr. Park is located at 485 Falconer Street in Jamestown, New York.
Constructed in 1940 through a public/private partnership, the ballpark is owned and maintained by the City of Jamestown.
When it opened in 1941, the ballpark was known as Jamestown Municipal Stadium and was the home of the Pennsylvania-Ontario-New York League (PONY) Jamestown Falcons.
In the early 1960s, Jamestown Community College built a new campus adjacent to Jamestown Municipal Stadium (just beyond left field) and the college baseball team began playing their home games at the ballpark. In the mid 1960s the ballpark was known locally as College Stadium and, in 1984, was renovated as College Stadium. Jamestown Community College’s baseball and softball teams still play their home games there.
In 1997, the name was changed to Russell E. Diethrick, Jr. Park in honor of a local Jamestown resident who had dedicate his life to both professional and amateur baseball in Jamestown.
As with every professional ballpark that reaches a certain advanced age, there is an abundance of historic plaques and markers at Diethrick Park.
The ballpark was home to the PONY League Jamestown Falcons from 1941 to 1956. In 1957 the league’s name was changed to the New York-Penn League. The Falcons continued play in the New York-Penn League, but only for half a season when the team ceased operation. Professional baseball returned to Jamestown Municipal Stadium in 1961 with the arrival of the New York-Penn League Jamestown Tigers, who departed after the 1965 season. The ballpark continued its affiliation with the New York-Penn League with the Jamestown Dodgers in 1966, the Jamestown Braves in 1967, the Jamestown Falcons from 1968 to 1972, the Jamestown Expos in 1973, and from 1977 to 1993, and the Jamestown Jammers from 1994 to 2014.
Since 1941, the team has affiliated with the following major league organizations: the Detroit Tigers from 1941 to 1942, from 1944 to 1956, from 1961 to 1965, and from 1994 to 1998, the St. Louis Cardinals in 1943, the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1957 and from 2013 to 2014, the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1966, the Atlanta Braves in 1967 and from 199 to 2001, the Boston Red Sox from 1968 to 1970, the Montreal Expos from 1971 to 1973, and from 1977 to 1993, and the Florida Marlins from 2002 to 2012.
Although Diethrick Park has undergone several renovations during its 75 years in existence, the ballpark maintains much of its classic ballpark charm.
The all-brick exterior hearkens back to an earlier era.
The bullpens are located along the first and third base lines, with the visiting team located just past the first base bleachers and the home team just past the third base bleachers.
The light stanchions are original to the ballpark, installed when Diethrick Park opened in 1941.
The electronic scoreboard is old-school as well. Who needs a Jumbo Tron at a minor league game?
In 2014, Diethrick Park was the second oldest ballpark in the New York-Penn League. Despite of, and because of, its age, it is a wonderful place to watch a baseball game.
The people of Jamestown, New York, are proud of their association with the game of baseball. Organized baseball has been played in Jamestown since the Civil War.
The responsible for helping run Jamestown baseball at Diethrick Park are friendly and ready to assist.
For additional history and information about Diethrick Park, see the excellent Star News Daily Article Celebrating Dietrick Park’s 70th Anniversary Season.
In 2014, the Jamestown Jamers played their last season of baseball at Diethrick Park. The franchise relocated in 2015 to Morgantown, West Virginia, where they will play as the Black Bears in a new facility shared with the University of West Virginia.
Although professional baseball may have left Jamestown, starting in 2015 Diethrick Park will be the home of the Prospect League (college wooden bat league) Jamestown Jamers, who will retain the name of the former professional team.
Luckily for the City of Jamestown, Diethrick Park will not anytime soon be joining the ranks of another lost ballpark. If you are a fan of old-time baseball stadiums, and find yourself in the Jamestown area during the spring college season or the summer wooden bat season, be sure to take in a game at old Jamestown Municipal Stadium. The citizens of Jamestown will be glad to welcome you to their gem of a ballpark.