Forever a Portland Beavers fan, even on this sad day

6 09 2010

The last day is here. The minor-league (Class AAA) Portland Beavers suit up for the last time before the city loses its tradition-rich baseball team.

Scene from my last Beavers game, just last month.

I pretty much knew it was coming. When the Portland Timbers became the talk of the town and the Beavers were left to be an afterthought, the end of the franchise in Portland was near. Simply put, there wasn’t enough passion and support from those who could make a big difference, from team owner to the city leaders of Portland and Beaverton who couldn’t reach an agreement on a new stadium, to the citizens who voiced dissent over a new park. And then the season went by and time ran out. And where were the fans who love baseball? Who is to blame for not galvanizing those fans to rise up and be heard?

Today is heart-wrenching. The Beavers were such a big part of my youth, even my adulthood. I’ll hold out hope that baseball will come back to the Rose City someday, but until then, I mourn the departure of an old friend. While I wish I was there to say goodbye in person, I think I would start crying if I was there. Instead I will listen to the finale on my computer.

Here’s what I wrote on the club’s website in response to owner Merritt Paulson’s statement and self-congratulations (but no solutions) for trying so hard to keep the team in town.

“My eyes get watery when I think of the many, many times my dad and I went to Civic Stadium and how excited I always was to go, even if the Bevos were a minor-league team playing on a bad Astroturf in a cavernous ballpark. I had that feeling from age 6 to today in my 30s. It always seemed like no one, from one owner to the next, didn’t care enough about the Beavers. Like it didn’t matter if they left. But year after year they were there (except for the Rockies years) and I went. Losing this team is like losing a good friend, someone you grew up with that you always thought would be there. I certainly hope to one day take my own kids back to my hometown to see the Beavers, and here’s hoping they will be back one day. Shame on those who allowed this to happen. Fix it!”

The final opponent for the Beavers is the Las Vegas 51s. I hope many go out to PGE Park to pay their respects one last time. Read about other folks’ farewells to the Beavers via my friend Aaron Fentress at The Oregonian.

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2 responses

6 09 2010
The Wife

So sad.

6 09 2010
ichimo

Nice article Jose (thanks to the link to the writing from the MiLB page)–thank you so much for capturing the sentiments of so many baseball fans here in Portland who are saddened by the sudden end of history-rich baseball fabric which has been part of Portland’s culture for almost a century. I’ll be attending the game this afternoon, while knowing that this may be my last-ever minor league baseball game in Portland, Oregon.

As an unrelated aside, were you at Univ. of Oregon in the early 1990’s?

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