Occupy Portland played its promised fence-mending softball game against Portland city employees (including several Parks bureau rangers) Sunday afternoon at Overlook Park. The Occupiers won 16-5, with onetime city-defying activist Arlo Stone crushing a grand slam.
But the conciliatory festivities were slyly stolen by a guest umpire: mayoral candidate Rep. Jefferson Smith (D-Portland).
Smith and his campaign team were holding a rally picnic at the south end of Overlook Park simultaneous to the Occupy softball game. Smith wandered to the diamond to throw a few practice balls. He then volunteered to umpire the first four innings.
It couldn't have been nicer photo op for a candidate trying to balance his reputation as what The American Prospect called "a mayor for the Occupy set" against his endorsements from the police, firefighter and public employee unions.
But he says his appearance was "a fluke."
Smith told WW Sunday that his campaign learned a few days ago that it would be sharing a park with Occupy (both events were permitted by the city), but says the overlap was coincidental.
Smith conducted the opening coin flip to decide which team would get final at-bats. The city employees won the toss. "It's heads," Smith said. "Government wins. You can't fight City Hall."
But Smith also called an Occupier safe in the second inning on a close play at second base. "Atta boy, blue!" agreed a fan. "Screw Charlie Hales!"
The game, the second half of a doubleheader after Occupiers played labor union members, was a relaxed affair—though after their victory, Occupy engaged in its familiar chant, "Whose park? Our park!"
Then they played Queen's "We Are the Champions" on loudspeakers.