Thursday, April 18, 2019

Baseball in Portland


It's a good thing! 

The Portland Diamond Project -- @PDXDiamondProj -- has been leading efforts to bring big league baseball to my home city for the first time. It's been awhile since we've seen a team relocate (2005) and even longer since we've seen a brand new team (1998), but professional baseball has a long history in Portland. The city has grown and changed a lot since the days where the old crusty sportswriters said another major pro sport was not sustainable in the City of Roses.

Even though I am loyal to the Cardinals, I would welcome a team here with open arms (of course!) and would definitely go to tons and tons of games. This got me thinking about my past live baseball experiences in Portland, where we had a AAA team when I grew up (left town after I graduated from high school) and then again for ten glorious seasons in the 2000's. More specifically, I took the opportunity to work on my Portland Beavers collection, whose needs are fully documented here. I just picked up a team set from 1984 on eBay and will be looking to acquire more in the future. If you've got any Beavers stuff or Cardinals minor league affiliates, let me know!


Darren Daulton was the biggest name in the set, which is manufactured by Cramer, in the early days before Mr. Cramer himself rebranded his company Pacific Trading Cards. (Remember those?)


The backs had some sort of cartoon on them. This one explains that Cramer made team sets for the entire PCL, which is pretty cool. I wish I had sent off for a free pricelist!


I tried to pick that cards that had the most shots of the old stadium. This is where the Portland Timbers play to this day, and much of the old baseball stadium shell is still intact even as they work on the second phase of a massive construction project this year.


Mura actually played for the Cardinals prior to this, a fact I probably wasn't aware of at the time this came out. You can see that the Beavers were the affiliated with the Phillies at this point. In other seasons (or perhaps just other photo shoots) they would flip the old 'P' logo upside-down to become a lower case 'B' for Beavers. (Immediately prior to this, they would be affiliated with the Pirates, and later the Twins. Through the 2000's, they were the Padres top farm club.)


Here's a shot with a dude in the background. Again, I wish there was more of the stadium, but there aren't a lot of action shots on minor league baseball cards.

3 comments:

The Lost Collector said...

I traveled to Portland for work back in 2009, and caught a Beavers game while I was there. It was definitely cool. Hopefully the efforts are a success!

Jon said...

I'm one of those people who thinks that bringing baseball to Portland is a very bad idea, granted I don't live there anymore, and I probably won't ever go back, but I still don't like it. There is no way that it can work long term, people will certainly support it for the first couple of years, if only because it'll be trendy to do so, but after a few seasons of losing and continually finishing in last place, it's going to end up being just like Tampa Bay -- empty seats, and constant talk of relocation.

acrackedbat said...

i would miss living near a quality baseball team. Hope you get baseball there, in some form.