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Minor league baseball could turn up near Sellwood — in Milwaukie

While soccer fans rejoice over the presence of major league soccer in Portland, with the latest incarnation of the Portland Timbers, there are many baseball fans who are moody over the departure of minor league baseball which it required, ending a century or more of pro baseball in Portland.

There has been talk of the Yakima minor league team relocating to Vancouver, but that's still a state away.

Now, in a May 18th headline story by Raymond Rendleman, the Clackamas Review newspaper - a sister to THE BEE - reveals that Milwaukie City Councilor Joe Loomis is leading an effort to build a 4,000-seat minor-league baseball stadium on the 7-acre site that is currently ODOT property, on the east side of McLoughlin Boulevard between Ochoco and Milport Streets.

Of course, there are some if's involved.

If the Milwaukie voters were to pass an estimated $5 million bond to buy the property, then the dream could start to become a reality. An argument for their doing so is that the land, now exempt from Milwaukie property taxes, would then go onto the tax rolls.

And of course, the big if - IF there's a stadium, would a team come?

As Rendleman reported, 'Once the city of Milwaukie owns the site and begins associated street renovations, leaders would invite private developers and a team from the Single-A Northwest League to invest in building the stadium, under the guidance of a public master planning process.'

And he quotes Councilor Loomis: 'We know minor-league baseball is coming back to the metro area, so we'd like it to be [in] Milwaukie.'

An element of the proposal is how the accessibility of the site to the new Portland-Milwaukie light rail line could help bring in baseball fans from elsewhere in the metro area.

But for residents of Sellwood, Garthwick, and Ardenwald, pro baseball could wind up being just a brief stroll away.