Chronological Tour: Stop 134

Delano-Hitch Stadium

Exterior of Delano-Hitch Stadium, from the northwest, Jul-1998.

A look from the right-field line toward the main grandstand.

The field sits in a town park in the center of the city.

Quick Facts: Rating: 3 baseballs
The lady selling souvenirs at Delano-Hitch Stadium couldn’t tell me how old the edifice was, and she had worked there for about 20 years. She said, “It’s 70 or 72 years old, I’m not sure.” Aside from a very brief fling in the short-lived North Atlantic League with a team that couldn’t even finish out the season without moving ten miles away to Walden, this remained a high-school field until 1995, when the Northeast League placed a team there for two seasons.

I got there for the Black Diamonds of the Atlantic League in 1998. Unfortunately, no pro games would be played there in 1999, as the Black Diamonds were scheduled to move to the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania. As a result, the club did only a minimum amount of promotion, ensuring lackluster crowds.

That was a shame, for Delano-Hitch Stadium is a gentle old facility that received a seating upgrade in 1995 and became a pleasant place to watch a game, without the crowds that pile into Dutchess Stadium right across the river for Hudson Valley Renegades games. The existing electric scoreboard was small, but a high school project had produced a post-up inning board right below it that added to the place’s charm.

One thing that detracted from my experience there, in July 1998, was the public address announcer. I understand he was new, and his shtick was to do a poor imitation of Bob Sheppard, the voice of the New York Yankees for over fifty years. He also played “New York, New York” at the end of the game, which seemed somewhat out of place in Newburgh, N.Y. After all, independent minor league baseball is supposed to be the antithesis of the Yankees.

If minor league ball returns to Newburgh in the near future, Delano-Hitch Stadium would be worth at least one visit. It actually happened in 2015, for about two weeks, but the Newts of the independent North Country Baseball League quickly packed up and became a road team. In the meantime, the park continues to be used for events such as American Legion Baseball tournaments.

Game # Date League Level Result
317 Mon 27-Jul-1998 Atlantic Ind. Bridgeport 7, NEWBURGH 3
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