Saturday, July 11, 2015

Hillsboro Hops baseball.

Man, I love driving over to the Hop to watch those kids play ball.

I do it with a pang of regret, however.  Had the local yokels been up front and trusting of the people of Clark County, the team and the stadium could have been built here.

Imagine a facility like Tonkin Field built at the Fairgrounds and paid for by those actually using it.

Imagine the clowns shilling this actually trusting in the people to make a decision.


Very few politicians trust in the people anymore.  We're such a bother... just look at the gas tax jammed down our throats.

The sports complex in Hillsboro is a thing of beauty... a fantastic vision brought to life by a small town that could... and did... out think and out plan the big city slickers in Vancouver every day and twice on Sunday.

But back to baseball.

These kids... some as young as 18... some as old as 23... play the game with a purity missing in the bigs.

They play their hearts out.  Sometimes, I wonder what some of those guys are doing out there.  But other times, they make spectacular, if not unbelievable plays... playground plays...the baseball equivalent of Russell Wilson.

The games this season have had simply astounding endings when we've been there.

Thursday, for example, Hillsboro won when the Spokane pitcher hit two consecutive batters to force in the winning run in the bottom of the 9th.  A couple of weeks ago, Hillsboro was down 2 runs in the 9th... and came back to win it after a 9th that had everything you can think of in it against Salem-Keizer.
In the ninth, Nehrir picked up his fourth hit of the game, a double to right field off Volcanoes’ closer Eric Sim. McFarland walked and the runners advanced to second and third after Sim’s first pitch to Luis Veras went off the glove of catcher Fernando Pujadas for a passed ball. But Sim would recover to strike out Veras and retired Trevor Mitsui on a soft line to second base. After Queliz was plunked to load the bases, Nate Robertson came up and took a wild swing at a high fastball on the first pitch he saw. Pujadas came out of his crouch to receive the pitch, but got his glove in the way of Robertson’s bat, an error that forced in Nehrir with the tying run and put Robertson aboard. Ozuna followed and worked the count to 3-1 before a checked swing on a high pitch. Base umpire Tom West denied the appeal as McFarland trotted home with the winning run. As the Hops celebreated, Salem-Keizer first-year manager Kyle Haines fruitlessly argued the final call, claiming that the ball hit Ozuna’s bat. Haines kicked the baseball toward his own dugout in frustration as the Hops dugout mobbed Ozuna.

He was NOT a happy camper.

And that's tame compared to some I've seen this year.

The vender prices for everything are as expensive, or even more so, than the Mariners ($34 for a baseball hat... seriously?)

But head on over to the Helvetia Tavern for one of their amazing burgers (It's just a couple of miles away) and then go on into the stadium.  Marvel at what COULD have been done by the Vancouver Soviet and what COULD have been done by democrats Boldt and Stuart if Steve hadn't been such a jerk.

Parking is $5.  The stadium seats around 4500 or so and there's seating in the grassy area in the outfield.  And it was millions cheaper than the palace they intended to build over here.

It's worth the drive.  Give it a try.  We're going tomorrow if memory serves.

No comments: