Before the advent of Dietz Stadium baseball was played at the wooden fairgrounds, which burned to the ground in the 1930s. On its site Dietz Stadium was built, named after Staff Sgt. Robert Dietz, a Kingstonian killed in the Second World War who was a Medal of Honor winner. A WPA project that still stands, it was really designed for football (basically it's a single row of concrete bleachers along the first base side), and its dimensions made it difficult to hit one out, featuring a very deep right field.
Nonetheless many fine black teams (the Kansas City Monarchs, Philadelphia Stars, Homestead Grays, Cleveland Buckeyes and Baltimore Elite Giants) played there as well as several barnstorming major league squads (the Cardinals, Brooklyn Dodgers, Pittsburgh, Boston Braves, and Phils). From 1951 to 1988 it was used for high school football and semipro ball, but in 1989 the park was transferred to the Kingston Board of Education in exchange for another site and will now be used exclusively for football and track.
"We traded tradition for money," commented one Kingston councilman.