Professional baseball first originated in Bluefield in 1924, when the Blue-Grays were formed by Fred Fox and Fred Hawley. The Blue-Grays played in the Coalfield League for two years before the league folded. Major League teams made Bluefield a favorite stop on barnstorming railroad exhibition tours. Bluefield was a member of the Blue Ridge League for two seasons and then joined the Class D Mountain State League. The club attracted more than 70,000 fans during its championship year in 1938.
The popularity of the Blue-Grays eventually prompted the construction of a first-rate stadium in City Park alongside the fairgrounds. Bowen Field was dedicated on May 11, 1939. Bowen Field was unique upon its construction, having an all-dirt infield and outfield.