Northwest League Notes
As week are within six weeks of the start of the Northwest League season, I’ve begun to look ahead to things we will see this year – especially new things.
At the top of the list – probably for everyone, is the move of the franchise that was the Yakima Bears and is now the Hillsboro Hops. The new stadium (picture from last week at the right), right along the Sunset Highway just outside Portland, is progressing nicely and am fired up to make the trip to the new digs in July – and also to see their outstanding broadcaster, Rich Burk. This also means a new hotel to stay at – as we’ll be staying at a Comfort Suites – guessing it will be like the one in Salem (which is an outstanding hotel, just a horrible location).
A new hotel also awaits us in Eugene when we make the maiden voyage this season, as the Ems have moved the team hotel from along the Willamette River at the Valley River Inn, to a Holiday Inn Express in the concrete jungle that is Springfield. The one nice thing about the new hotel is the bevy of dining options for the players – especially after the game, while for the staff, the Hop Valley Brewery is next door.
I have also noticed the marketing that the Tri-City Dust Devils have done in the off-season, taking full advantage of the success of Seattle Seahawks quarterback, Russell Wilson. Why? Well, Wilson was a second-baseman for the Dust Devils when he was selected out of North Carolina State a few years ago. Not a bad idea.
Spokane has changed the look of their large concourse outside Avista Stadium, completing remodeling their concession stands, team shop, and offices. Should make it neat to walk into the yard in late June.
FIRST LOOK AT GIVEAWAYS: I always love promotions when we are on the road and I always seem to come home with plenty of things for my son, PJ (who will be accompaning me on a couple trips this year). The season opening series in Eugene is pretty vanilla (magnet schedule night x 3), but on our return visit to PK Park, they will have a Bats and Tats night – I can hear the Harleys now. The trip to Spokane will have one of my favorite promos – Bark in the Park Night, as will our trip to Everett. Everett also has a couple nice giveaways – both an Aquasox scarf and 2013 baseball cards (wish there was a Mike Zunino card). They’ll also have a car show on getaway day before the All-Star Break.
PRE GAME SHOW CONFIRMATIONS: I have confirmed that Business Baseball and Politics will return to Hawkstown Tonight this summer on 1350 KTIK-AM (now part of the CBS Sports Radio Network), along with our weekly chat with Boise Sports Anchors, our Fantasy Focus, and the popular Go Cubs Go. We hope to continue our Bronco Beat with Bob Behler and keep our long-standing chats with Will Hoenike and J Bates going, and toying with the idea of having a Superhero Minute…we’ll see how that goes.