I got an e-mail from my friend AJ, a Bostonian living in New York, the other day. It was full of questions about my new home:
AJ is still in pain, so he should be forgiven some of his East coast parochialism. I told him about OSU’s back-to-back national championships, and about the U of O’s varsity baseball program, back for the first time in 26 years. And about the Portland Beavers. I told him that baseball is alive in well in Oregon, in other words, and is awaking this weekend from its winter slumber.
The recent news on the professional side is that the Florida Marlins got approval from Miami-Dade County Commissioners to build a new $500 million stadium in Miami. The Marlins had been Portland’s primary hope for a team — they met with Mayor Potter a year and a half ago to discuss moving the franchise, and were sick of playing at Dolphin Stadium. So now it looks like Portland will have to wait until some other team (like, say, the Devil Rays) decides it wants to move to a sunnier clime.
Whether or not that happens any time soon, are we watching a baseball resurgence in Oregon? And if so, what’s behind it? Is the U of O just trying to play catchup with Corvallis with its new $400,000+ coach and planned $15 million stadium? Is Oregon turning into a baseball state?
And more importantly: Little League, prep, college or pro, are you as excited as I am that some kind of baseball is here again?
- Brian Meehan: Sports reporter for The Oregonian
- Jack Dunne: Retired baseball coach of 39 years, including 20 at PSU, and author of From the Third Base Coach’s Box
- Brian Foley: Blogger behind The College Baseball Blog