Play ball! Portland Pickles Baseball in 7th year at Lents Park
Time flies â€“ and so, once again, do the baseballs! It doesn't seem possible that it was way back in June of 2016 that the first Portland Pickles baseball game was played on the team's home turf at Charles B. Walker Stadium, on S.E. Holgate near 92nd in Lents Park. But indeed, six years have passed.
Since then, "America's pastime" has drawn Pickles fans to watch games, listen to live music, engage in silly contests, chow down on Pickle Pizza, party with friends and family â€“ and yes, to watch great collegiate league baseball being played.
The Pickles kicked off their 40-game 2022 schedule on May 31 â€“ playing against the Nanaimo NightOwls. They will continue to play ball throughout the summer against the teams in the West Coast League, a summer wooden-bat league for college-eligible student-athletes, based in the Pacific Northwest.
"It's great for Portland Pickles Baseball to be playing again here in Walker Stadium," exclaimed the team's manager Ross Campbell on opening night. "It's been a long and eventful off-season for us, including playing in Mexico; that was an amazing accomplishment for us." But then came a burglary that made the regional news.
"Just after our return this winter, our season mascot Dillon was 'kidnapped' â€“ and allegedly posted controversial things on social media," Campbell said. "This is the fans' first opportunity to come and ask him what happened during the off-season â€“ but, as you know, he's not a very talkative pickle." So, it was no surprise that Dillon didn't respond to our questions â€“ but he did look truly excited about welcoming fans back to the ballpark.
As the stadium filled with fans, and groups laid out blankets on the berm areas along the sides, excitement was growing in the crowd.
"We have invested a lot into the ballpark, as well as into the promotions and in our team, to make sure everyone has a wonderful experience," Campbell acknowledged. "Whether or not you are a 'baseball fan', this is the place for everyone to come and hang out â€“ it's the biggest 'legal' party in Portland every night we're here."
By the way, the Pickles shellacked their opponents in that game by a score of 5 to 1 â€“ causing fans to repeatedly raise their chairs (a tradition, at the stadium, for celebrating runs).
The Portland Pickles play games at Walker Stadium, rain or shine, through mid-August. Here's a webpage showing the team's season schedule â€“ tinyurl.com/2jz84yh6And, here's a BEE video to help you expereience that first Pickles home game of the season! youtu.be/qnn4eA68T78
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