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The Hillsboro Hops are a Minor League Baseball team in Hillsboro in the U.S. state of Oregon. Founded in 1977 as the Salem Senators, the Hops moved from Yakima, Washington to Hillsboro in the Portland metropolitan area for the 2013 season. The team is a Class A Short-Season team in the Northwest League and have been a farm team of the Arizona Diamondbacks since 2001, when the franchise was known as the Yakima Bears. Home games are played at Hillsboro Ballpark.
- Main article: Yakima Bears
The franchise was founded in 1977 as the Salem Senators, remaining in Salem, Oregon, under several names until moving to Yakima, Washington, for the 1990 season. In Yakima, the team, an affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers, was known as the Bears and played their home games at Parker Field and the county fairgrounds. As early as 2011, the team started exploring options to relocate after a lack of progress on a new stadium that would meet minor league standards, and a declining local economy.
After a proposal to move to Vancouver, Washington, fell through, the team received an offer to move to Hillsboro, Oregon in June 2012, with plans to start play there in 2013. The city and team reached a deal, with city council approval on June 5, and approval by the league and the franchise on June 8, 2012. The city signed the agreement with the team on June 26, with approval by Major League Baseball coming in August. Ground breaking for a new 4,500-seat stadium took place on September 21, 2012, and the new name of the Hops was announced on October 16, 2012.
The Hillsboro Hops replace the Portland Beavers, who relocated to Tucson, Arizona at the end of the 2010 baseball season, as the only professional baseball team in the Portland metropolitan area. The team opened the 2013 season at Salem on June 14 followed by the home opener on June 17.
The team's inaugural season started on June 14, 2013, with a road loss at Salem. The Hops' first win came on June 17 in the home opener against Eugene. Barley, the team's mascot, was introduced on June 28, 2013.
The Hops' first game was on June 14, 2013, on the road at the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, a 3-2 loss. Ryan Gebhardt had the team's first hit and Brian Billigen earned the first RBI. The team's first sellout came in the 2013 home opener with 4,710 fans, who watched Jordan Parr hit the first home run in the Hops' history.
The team name is a reference to the plant used in beer brewing (Oregon is the second-largest hop-producing US state by volume), as well as to various baseball terms such as the short hop, bad hop, and crow hop. No previous professional or collegiate sports team has ever been called the "Hops". The team's logo features evergreen trees as well as Mount Hood, the highest mountain in the state. Team colors are green, navy blue, and light blue. The Hops' mascot is Barley, who is green with a blue baseball cap.
In March 2013, the team announced a three-year deal with BridgePort Brewing Company for the latter to be the official beer of the Hops. Advantis Credit Union, Les Schwab Tires, Nike, Tuality Healthcare, and The Oregonian were the founding sponsors.
Rich Burk was signed as the team's radio announcer on KPOJ (620 AM).
- ↑ Lynn, Capi. "Long history of Minor-League ball in SalemEM", September 22, 1996, p. D10.
- ↑ Courtney, Ross. "Bad news, Bears: Team takes one step closer to relocation", May 27, 2011. Retrieved on October 17, 2012.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Theen, Andrew. "Hillsboro sets stage for baseball's return to the Portland metro area", June 6, 2012. Retrieved on October 17, 2012.
- ↑ Stevens, Suzanne. "Hillsboro OKs baseball deal with Yakima Bears", June 6, 2012. Retrieved on October 17, 2012.
- ↑ Ho, Sally. "Yakima Bears agree to Hillsboro's terms for baseball deal", June 19, 2012. Retrieved on October 17, 2012.
- ↑ Ho, Sally. "Hillsboro's baseball deal is approved", June 27, 2012. Retrieved on October 17, 2012.
- ↑ Manning, Rob. "Hillsboro Approves Deal To Bring Baseball To City", News, Oregon Public Broadcasting, June 27, 2012. Retrieved on July 4, 2012.
- ↑ Theen, Andrew. "Hillsboro and Yakima Bears clear final hurdle for baseball relocation", August 21, 2012. Retrieved on August 21, 2012.
- ↑ Giegerich, Andy. "Hillsboro breaks stadium ground, name comes next", September 21, 2012. Retrieved on September 21, 2012.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Giegerich, Andy. "Hillsboro has the Hops: Baseball team name honors agricultural roots", October 16, 2012. Retrieved on October 17, 2012.
- ↑ Culverwell, Wendy. "Hillsboro Hops debut $11M stadium June 17", November 19, 2012. Retrieved on November 19, 2012.
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 Smith, Jeff. "Hillsboro Hops: Even in defeat, history made as Portland area's new team opens season", June 14, 2013. Retrieved on 16 June 2013.
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Smith, Jeff. "Hillsboro Hops: After home-opening party, Hops ready for 'Tony Gwynn Opening Day'", June 18, 2013. Retrieved on 19 June 2013.
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Alger, Tyson. "Hillsboro Hops: Meet "Barley," Hillsboro's new mascot (photos)", June 28, 2013. Retrieved on 30 June 2013.
- ↑ Canzano, John. "Canzano: Baseball's triumphant return with Hillsboro Hops comes with big-time lessons", June 17, 2013. Retrieved on 19 June 2013.
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 Theen, Andrew. "Hops to the future: Hillsboro Hops baseball era begins", October 16, 2012. Retrieved on 17 October 2012.
- ↑ Redden, Jim. "Baseball team now Hillsboro Hops", October 16, 2012. Retrieved on October 16, 2012.
- ↑ Theen, Andrew. "Hillsboro Hops release name via social media, drawing both praise and disappointment (with poll)", October 16, 2012. Retrieved on 17 October 2012.
- ↑ Theen, Andrew. "BridgePort named official beer of the Hillsboro Hops, will create special beer for the ballpark", March 6, 2013. Retrieved on 7 March 2013.
- ↑ Stevens, Suzanne. "Hillsboro Hops sign BridgePort Brewing as official beer", March 6, 2013. Retrieved on 7 March 2013.
- ↑ Goldfield, Robert. "Credit union 'Hops' to it", June 6, 2013. Retrieved on 7 June 2013.
- ↑ Smith, Jeff. "Rich Burk named radio broadcaster of Hillsboro Hops baseball", March 11, 2013. Retrieved on 11 March 2013.
- Template:Official website
- Coverage of the Hillsboro Hops at FutureBacks.com
- Hillsboro Hops coverage at OregonLive.com
Team website: http://www.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t419