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Portland has a baseball team named after a popular condiment, and it plays in Southeast

DAVID F. ASHTON - Pitcher Alex Roth, a junior at Western Oregon University, fires a fastball for Inner Southeast Portland's own Portland Pickles baseball team. The third season of Portland Pickles baseball – Portland's collegiate team in the West Coast League – at Charles B. Walker Stadium in Lents, kicked off on Saturday evening, June 2.

The stadium looked sadly empty only an hour before game time, but soon long lines of ticket holders were snaking through Lents Park just off Holgate Boulevard near S.E. 92nd, waiting to get in. By the time the game got underway, more than 2,500 fans had filled the seats, bleachers, and grassy rim areas.

Pickles team management said they were disappointed that, even though they'd invited Portland's Mayor and other governmental elected officials to the home opener, all of them who had chosen to respond just sent regrets – including Portland Parks & Recreation leaders.

Before the game began, Portland Pickles official field announcer Robert Jones introduced each member of the home team, and then of the visitors – the "Port Angeles Lefties".

"We want you to think of this place as your summer habitat," Jones told the crowd. "This is where you can come, and find an oasis every night – to enjoy the sunshine, the baseball, and your friends, here in the wonderful Lents neighborhood."

Members of Portland's Royal Rosarians then took the field, and escorted the current Rosarian Prime Minister, Adam Baker, as he stepped to the mound, and threw out the first pitch of the season.

Lines for hotdogs, French fries, and beer grew long, as the game began; the spectators soon settled in for a good time.

While Pickles lost this home opener 3-2, they went on to win the next two of the three-game home stand, with scores of 6-1 and 2-0.

The team did well on the road, but high winds and rain sweeping through the area cancelled their next home visit, June 8 through 10. (That was Grand Floral Parade weekend – always a dodgy time for good weather.)

But, according to a recent announcement by the team's management, "Baseball at Walker Stadium is officially here to stay": The Portland Pickles have now officially signed a 13-year extension with Portland Parks & Recreation, allowing them to use Walker Stadium as their home field for at least that long.

"Walker Stadium has seen many improvements in the short existence of the Portland Pickles – such as the fan seating sections; like the Dugout Dens, and the Ford Party Deck – and this extension will allow for potentially more upgrades to the stadium, to help make the fan experience even better," remarked team co-owner Bill Stewart.

Find out more about the Portland Pickles, and get your game tickets online, at their official website: www.portlandpicklesbaseball.com – and learn more about the league they play in, here – www.westcoastleague.com

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