This afternoon, Morgen and I took in our first ballgame over at PGE Park. The stadium formerly known both as Multnomah Stadium (that’s the name of our county) and Civic Stadium is home to both the Portland Beavers, AAA baseball for the San Diego Padres, and the Portland Timbers, a soccer team in the USL (United Soccer Leagues). For those less familiar with the soccer reference, USL first division is one step below Major League Soccer, kind of how AAA baseball is one rung below MLB.
But today we saw the Beavers play the Memphis Redbirds, AAA affiliate for the St. Louis Cardinals. Game time was 2:05 which was perfect because neither of us had anything to do today. We sauntered down from our apartment around 1:30 and bought tickets at the box office. The park is nine blocks to our south and two blocks east, so it takes between 10-15 minutes to walk there. Considering it is a federal holiday, it was a relatively sparse crowd. Though I don’t have anything to compare it to.
Anyway, we Craig Stansberry hit his first home run of the season in the bottom of the first for Portland’s first run. It was mostly a pitcher’s duel after the Beavers got out of a bases-loaded jam in the second while only allowing one run to score. Kyle Blanks had an RBI bloop single in the bottom of the sixth to give the home team a win.
PGE is a really nice place to watch a game. We sat on the first base side to keep the sun out of our eyes. We could see into downtown as well as watch the light rail trains passing every ten minutes or so. General admission seats, where we sat, were all bleachers, which was a cool throwback to older stadiums. PGE was built in 1926 so it is of course an old stadium. But a 2001 renovation has made it very much a modern ballpark. So you get the best of both worlds while watching the Beavers. One downside is that they do play on turf instead of grass. But I can get over that. They also sell local beer at the stadium, in addition to the usual crap. So we each had a Widmer beer, Morgen the Hefeweizen and I had the Drifter Ale along with a bag of popcorn and some peanuts.
We already have tickets to go see the Timbers play against the Montreal Impact at the end of June. The Timbers have a boisterous fan section called the Timber Army and are due to be promoted to MLS starting in 2011.