Portland truly is a baseball town. True, we’ve never been home to a major league franchise, and plenty of farm teams have come and gone. But ever since the creation of the Pioneer Baseball Club in the mid-1800s—the city’s first—fans have consistently gathered around a diamond to watch players run bases and catch pop flies. Only twice in that period has Portland been without a home team to root for: once during World War I, when travel restrictions made scheduling games impossible, and again from 2010 to 2013 during the highly contentious debate about tearing down Memorial Coliseum to build a stadium for the beloved Portland Beavers. The obsolescent building won and the team was sold. Fortunately, baseball has the most devoted supporters in sports, and their drive to bring the game back to the metro region undoubtedly helped Hillsboro land the Hops. The 4,500-seat Ron Tonkin Field (4460 NE Century Blvd., Hillsboro, milb.com/hillsboro), built just six years ago, has all the amenities of a super-sized stadium and sits right along Highway 26, which means you can practically smell the ballpark dogs just driving by. If there’s any sport that matches the rhythm of summer, it’s this one. Baseball is in no hurry, and you shouldn’t be either. Bring a mitt and keep an eye out for foul balls sailing over the fence and into the bleachers along the third-base line or spread out with a blanket on the grassy berm. There’s craft beer on tap and one of the best mascots in the minors, a bulbous, bright green hop named Barley, who happily roams the stadium stopping for selfies and hugs.
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