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Hops tap Burk as radio play-by-play voice

The Hillsboro Hops celebrated its new partnership with BridgePort Brewing Tuesday evening with a get-together at the popular brewpub in Portland’s Pearl District. The event was attended by team and brewery representatives as well as dozens of season ticket holders.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with the oldest craft brewery in Oregon,” said Hops General Manager K.L. Wombacher.

BridgePort brewmaster Jeff Edgerton was equally pleased.

“The Hops are a family-friendly organization that’s going to offer quality family entertainment. This is the first sports team we’ve ever partnered with,” said Edgerton.

The partnership includes having BridgePort brands featured throughout the stadium through signage and logos. In addition, an official BridgePort Beer Garden will be located off the first base line. The beer garden will offer access to food and craft beers, as well as a view of the field. And BridgePort will be producing a limited small batch of “Hillsboro Hops” special brew to be poured at the beer garden and at the pub.

Hops’ owners declined to release financial details of the arrangement. But Wombacher said corporate sponsorships are critical to the success of teams like his.

“Without corporate sponsorships, our ticket prices would have to triple, and we wouldn’t be able to offer special attractions like giveaways and fireworks,” Wombacher explained.

During the event, Wombacher announced he had just learned that the lower level box seats at the stadium under construction in the Gordon Faber Recreation Complex had sold out.

“That’s a milestone,” Wombacher said.

Burk named radio announcer

The Hops also used the event to showcase veteran local baseball broadcaster Rich Burk, who will announce the games on Fox Sports Radio KPOJ-AM 620 in Portland. Burk served as emcee for the event.by: COURTESY - Rich Burk

Burk, a Hillsboro resident, has more than two decades of experience in broadcasting. From 1995 until 2010, he was the primary radio and television play-by-play announcer for Portland’s baseball teams. Burk was the lead broadcaster for the Class-A Portland Rockies of the Northwest League for five of their six seasons in existence, beginning with the team’s inaugural season of 1995. And from 2001-2010, he was play-by-play announcer for the Triple-A Portland Beavers of the Pacific Coast League.

In 2009, Burk called the ESPN2 telecast of the Triple-A Baseball All-Star Game at PGE Park in Portland.

Burk has also filled in for three major league baseball teams, including the San Diego Padres, Montreal Expos and Toronto Blue Jays. During his career, he has called nearly 1,750 professional baseball games on radio and television.

Burk said he was excited about announcing the Hops’ 76 games starting with their season opener on June 14.

“It’s a fantastic organization,” he said, “and it’s a great opportunity for me. The ball park is exactly 5.1 miles from my house.”

The Hillsboro Hops are the Single-A baseball affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks of Major League Baseball. The team will make its home debut in their new state of the art stadium in Hillsboro on Monday, June 17, against the Eugene Emeralds. The 4,500-seat stadium is being financed by the sale of $12 million in city bonds at 2.74 percent and the sale of surplus city property for an additional $3.2 million. The complex and stadium are owned by Hillsboro’s Parks and Recreation Department.

BridgePort Brewing is located at 1313 N.W. Marshall St. in Portland, where Tuesday’s celebration was held.



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