Fans return to again cheer Portland’s Pickles baseball

INCLUDES VIDEO Members of the Portland Pickles, their related teams, and baseball fans, all cheer as baseball returns to outer East Portland at Lents Park …

Pickles fans, eager to see the season begin at Charles B. Walker Stadium, stream in – and stock up on food and beverages before the game begins.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Those who love watching live baseball – and their friends, who like to party with them at the stadium – marked 2016 as the year in Portland baseball history when the Portland Pickles Baseball Club started playing summertime games in Charles B. Walker Stadium, in the northeast corner of Lents Park.

> To read about that first-ever game, CLICK HERE.

Since then, the Portland Pickles organization, working with Portland Parks & Recreation, have renovated the stadium; and the team’s management worked to make each successive baseball season the most fun, affordable, and family-friendly entertainment around.

But, because of to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, no games were played at Walker Stadium if the 2020 season.

Just inside the front gate, Ted Davis and Carole Whitmore say they’re thrilled to be greeted by team’s mascot, Dillon, once again.

But, on June 2nd of this year, fans again streamed into the stadium to enjoy a great baseball game – when the Portland Pickles played against their own local development team, the Portland Gherkins.

The Pickles then kicked off their 48-game schedule on June 4 paying against the teams comprising the West Coast League, a summer wood-bat league for college-eligible student-athletes, based in the Pacific Northwest.

Enthusiastic about opening the 2021 season is Portland Pickles Manager Ross Campbell.

“This evening is very special for all of us; it’s the first time baseball has returned to Portland in two years,” said the Pickles’ manager, Ross Campbell. “You can feel the energy here; people are excited to get back, and we are ready to give them something fun to do, outdoors, here in Walker Stadium for the first time in a couple of years.

“It’s so good to smell the fresh-cut grass, see the newly-raked baselines, and hear the crack of the baseball bat!” Campbell exclaimed to East Portland News.

Happy to be peddling genuine Portland Pickles ‘merch’ is University of Oregon student Gabe Levy.

Coming from Northwest Portland to enjoy the game, and seated on the eastern grassy berm, are Portia Binford, Joni Rene, and Hannah Hefner.

Fans cheer, as this ballgame gets underway at Walker Stadium.

Janine Eftell-Steppe is serving hot and fresh Atlas Pizza at the stadium.

“We’re looking to have a bigger and better season – and that includes offering new food and beverage options,” Campbell enthused. “And, we’re offering twice the number of games this season, with the addition of the Wild Wild West League teams playing here, too.”

Even though COVID-19 appears to be on the wane, Campbell pointed out that it is still a time of social distancing – so  the 2021 season is a good time to institute the practice of seating guests in groups, or “pods”. He observed that, due to fans’ demand, the management is considering adding more “box seats”.

Portland Pickles infielder Cam Clayton is about to belt a baseball back to the outfield.

Portland Pickles home for two weekends
The Portland Pickles have another home stand this weekend – with games on June 25, 26 and 27. They’ll return to Walker Stadium for an Independence Day weekend run on July 2, with double-headers on July 3 and July 4 – and the promotion for that evening has been named, “COVID Ruined Fireworks Night!” So come and enjoy the ruin, as well as the baseball.

There are still some single-game tickets available.  For general information, schedule, special promotion dates – and must-have Portland Pickles merchandise, see their official website: CLICK HERE.

© 2021 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

 

 

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