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Civic Stadium, Eugene, Oregon

Civic Stadium, Eugene, OREGON

Number of states: 5
States to go: 45
Number of games: 2
First game:  July 3, 2004 (Eugene Emeralds 5, Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 4)
Last game:  August 11, 2007 (Spokane Indians 5, Eugene Emeralds 3)

Civic Stadium was no longer used for affiliated minor league baseball as of the 2010 season. Fire destroyed the structure in 2015.

(Click any image to view a larger version.)

As I approached Civic Stadium for the first time, I absolutely fell in love with the place.  Beautiful.  Charming.  Venerable.  Looking much the same as it did when it opened back in nineteen-twenty-whatever (just guessing on the date, but it has that Fenway and Tiger Stadium boxed-up,

team-logo-painted-on-the-outside-wood, held-up-by-beams feel about it.)  As I walked in with 10,000 others for fireworks night, I was convinced that I was in  for something special and that I’d feel about this beautiful old place the same way I did about Fenway Park, which is to say, totally entranced.  Over the course of the next few hours, however, I fell out of love with Civic Stadium.  There was just too much troublesome about it.  The experience was akin to seeing that my blind date looked like Sue Bird or Julie Delpy or Claire Danes, then finding little things wrong…okay, she’s got an annoying, nervous laugh…okay, she’s a whacked-out crystal-worshipping new ager…okay, she’s had three drinks to my one…until I finally, the many flaws become overwhelming and I can’t let the original charm win out.

I can already feel traditionalists breathing down my neck on this one, since there are so few places like Civic Stadium left in the world.  But my night at Civic Stadium was, if nothing else, an explication of reasons why 

stadiums no longer are designed like Civic Stadium and an argument that maybe the changes since are progress rather than regression.

Make no mistake.  I loved the look of the place!  It had all the charm of bygone days.  I felt connected to every fan who’d ever gone into the place.  The beams, the real grass, the bizarre asymmetry of it (the seating bowl reaches almost all the way down the right field line, but doesn’t even make it as far as third base along the left field line).  It’s accidental charm, and I love it.

The Eugene fans were fantastic.  This was a sellout for fireworks night.  Michelle The Girlfriend and 

I arrived an hour early (after a wonderful day meandering down the gorgeous Oregon coast) to poke around the place and to find good general admission seats.  Whoops!  We needed to arrive a lot earlier than that to get good seats.  We did okay–only about 3/4 of the way up to the top, only about 3/4 of the way to the end of the right-field stands–but I was highly impressed with how early the fans showed up to claim their stake.  Maybe it’s different on a non-holiday Tuesday night in August, but even so, for so many to arrive that early speaks well for the Emeralds and their fans.

Here’s where the problems begin, though.  Although the stadium technically can hold 10,000, it certainly can’t do so comfortably.  While I’m sure that the season-ticket holders were enjoying 

their seats with backs and arms on them, we in general admission were horribly uncomfortable.  Whenever anyone wanted to leave (and I’m trying not to harbor enmity towards the butthead who left and returned to my row FIVE TIMES during the game), the entire row would either have their feet stepped on or their backs jostled.  There just wasn’t enough room to sit.  Even while at rest, I had to position my knees and feet just so to avoid contact with the fine young family in front of me.  Net result:  as the game progressed, we all became more and more uncomfortable.

Strangely, the Emeralds did little to keep its large crowd–who clearly were rearing to have a very good time–active.  Music choices were baffling.  “Deep in the Heart of Texas”?  What the hell?  Why not just throw in “Chicago,” 

“New York, New York,” and “God Save the Queen” while you’re at it?  Why not throw in “Streets of Philadelphia,” just to be both geographically inaccurate and breathtakingly depressing?  No wait…they DID play “My City in Ruins”!  Strange, strange choices.

STILL, I was eager to enjoy this beautiful old ballpark, but I actually became a little concerned for my safety at some points.  A hard foul ball was smacked back into one of the beams on the first-base side and shattered a light bulb there.  Surely, at some point in the last 80 years, someone must have at least realized the necessity of putting a cage around that.  But later, things got even more bizarre.  In the eighth inning, the entire bank of lights went out on the first-base side.

Salem-Keizer catcher Charlie Babineaux was ready to

take his first pitch from Eugene pitcher Jake Upwood when the lights went out.  Babineaux called time,  which was granted, but the home plate umpire seemed to want to continue play in the twilight combined with outfield lighting.  But when the Salem-Keizer manager stepped in, play was delayed while they fixed the lights.  Okay, I understand that maybe this could have happened anywhere.  But I doubt it.  The lights over the left field pavilion looked only slightly less old than the stadium itself, and they’re the only ones that went out.  Plus–and am I the only one who could possibly have been thinking this?–if it’d been a blown fuse or a small explosion that caused those lights to go out, those wooden bleachers would have taken about a minute and a half to become a hellish inferno, and when this sucker was built, emergency exits and sprinkler systems were not exactly high in architects’ minds.  So while I’m sitting and thinking about the tragedy at England’s Bradford City football grounds, the Emeralds’ staff could be doing some things to make sure we’re all having a good time, like playing some music or having the mascot run around and do the good stuff mascots do.  Two problems:

1.  The music people.  At a time the audience needed something to do–“Minnie the Moocher,” “YMCA,” hell, even the damn 

Macarena–the sound guys played Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on First,” the radio call of Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard Round the World,” and “Dueling Banjos.”  Audience participation possibilities?  None.  So we sat in our uncomfortable seats for 29 minutes doing nothing.

2.  The mascot.  There isn’t one.  Come on.  Is this even possible in the low minors?  I must admit, I didn’t notice its absence until about the fifth inning, but I felt a little bit cheated, like if I’d showed up to an NL game and found they decided to use the designated hitter.  It’s just not the rules!  Low minor league teams simply MUST have a mascot…and during the big delay, this was a notable absence, since all we had to look at were the two umpires sitting around waiting for the lights–lights that were probably only slightly younger than Thomas Edison’s original–to kick back on.

In the end, as much as I wanted to love this place, I just couldn’t overlook these problems.  I felt uncomfortable.  I even felt a little unsafe.  And I totally felt like I was missing part of the minor league baseball experience.  Even the fireworks show didn’t redeem it…it only lasted about 7 minutes (although they had 15 minutes worth of fireworks…they just fired them all off in 7 minutes, thus eliminating any sense of buildup or climax to the show).

Michelle and I have agreed that, if we win the lottery for more than, say, $100 million, we will purchase the Eugene Emeralds and clean this stadium up a bit…maintaining its old charm without sacrificing the many, many comforts that Civic Stadium sacrifices.  Yes, I am a traditionalist, but not militantly so, and Civic Stadium goes beyond my limits.

UPDATE:  I received a nice email from a University of Oregon student who works concessions for the Emeralds, encouraging me to give the team another chance–saying that, among other things, the team “dreads” the July 3rd/4th games.  And I also got the sense that many of the problems I had with the ballpark were a result of a crowded night.  So Michelle and I headed back down to Eugene for a random Saturday night game in 2007.  The team impressed me with their low-key calmness that ngiht, and I found it was worth every penny not to sit in general admission.  I will adjust my score a little bit accordingly (although that first visit was so frustrating that it weighs a little bit heavier).


Regional feel:  8.5/10
Quite lovely here, with local promotions, a view of the Cascades, and many fine folks who clearly were from Oregon and Eugene.  No question where I was.

Charm:  3/5
Yes, Civic Stadium has charm due to its age.  But I don’t find cramped, backless seats, people colliding with my back or stepping on my toes every time they leave, endless concession lines, my toes up some poor person in the next row’s butt, a lengthy power outage, and the very real fear that we could burn alive to be very charming. (But on the second visit, it was quite lovely.  Just don’t go there on a night where it’s packed unless you have a reserved seat.)

Spectacle: 1/5
Could have used a bit more for low-A ball.

Team mascot/name:  1.5/5
The name is fine…the mascot nonexistent.

Aesthetics:  5/5
Say what you will, but the place is gorgeous.

Pavilion area:  4/5
Fine.  A bit cramped, but overall not bad.

Scoreability:  4/5
Lineups were available.  Some close decisions were not made clear, however.

Fans:  5/5
Arrived early and maintained excellent enthusiasm under difficult circumstances.

Intangibles:  3/5
Pluses:  Good game, fireworks, a polite letter from a ballpark worker that did all but apologize for the lamentable first night.  Minuses:  Power outage, aching back, and fireworks show that packed 15 minutes worth of gunpowder into 7 minutes.  I didn’t leave satisfied on any count…until three years later.

TOTAL:  35/50


Eugene’s Colt Morton (who wears #45…get it?) appears to be a stud-in-the-making.  He homered twice, which made it 4 homers in 5 days for him.

Salem-Keizer’s Chase Smith gets his first professional loss without surrendering a hit:  a leadoff walk, a sacrifice bunt, a deep flyout, and a wild pitch score Craig Johnson with the winning run.

Mitch Moreland homers to put the 2007 game in the bag for Spokane.

Everett Memorial Stadium, Everett, Washington

Everett Memorial Stadium, Everett, WASHINGTON

Number of states: still 2
States to go:  48
Number of games: 15 since quest (about 5 before)
First game in quest:  July 28, 2003 (Everett AquaSox 4, Tri-City Dust Devils 2)
Most recent game:  August 19, 2012 (Everett AquaSox 7, Eugene Emeralds 1)

Everett Memorial stadium is my “home” minor league park.  It is about 40 minutes from my place, and Safeco Field is both closer and major league…so my local baseball budget is pretty well filled with the M’s.  Still, I make it up for a game or two a year.  They’re always enjoyable–so unabashedly minor league.  It’s fun.

There’s one word I think of when I think of “unabashedly minor league,” and that is PROMOTIONS.  I knew we were in for a treat when they announced the umpires’ names and said “The umpires tonight are brought to you by Everett Optometry clinic.  Everett Optometry Clinic is not responsible for any missed calls.”  Stupid.  Corny.  Still, kinda funny, even though I normally hate ref/ump

jokes.  And there was some sort of promotion in between every half inning of the entire game except for two or three.  Plus, any patron who buys a program can select for which promotions he or she can be considered!  They have a massive list of every promotion they do every night, and by checking off items on the list, you put yourself in the running for said contest/promotion.  On the night I graded this stadium, I declared myself eligible for about a dozen contests and promotions.  Through five and a half innings, my name wasn’t called, but then:  WOW!  I was the contestant in the Grand Slam Inning Contest!  If the AquaSox hit a grand slam in the sixth inning, I win $5000!  What a wonderful feeling of anticipation…and very, very short-lived.  The bottom of the sixth lasted exactly five pitches.  (Apparently the M’s are not teaching their minor leaguers plate discipline.)  Brian Lentz popped the first pitch to right.  Bryan LaHair grounded his first pitch to first.  And Mike Cox watched a whole two pitches go by before flying to right.  Oh, well–no five grand for me.  But at least I got to hear my name.

This is a ballpark that’s worth getting to early.  Inside the gates are lots of places for kids to jump around, a few wandering mascots, some music, and a football-field sized grassy area in which to play catch or settle in to have a pre-game picnic.  There was also a prominently-displayed lineup board, where I saw something for the first time.  Check out the difference between the elderly fan on the left, who is writing the lineups in a scorebook, and the fan on the right, who is–swear to God–programming the lineups into a Palm Pilot.

Only in Microsoftland!  I’m sure this will grow more common down the line, but man, I sure hope I never make that switch.

Two mascots.  Webbly the frog is awesome, but Frank the Frank is what it’s all about.  A giant walking hot dog slingshotting T-shirts at patrons!  (I can’t be the only one who thinks of Maude Flanders when this happens, can I?)  So while I’m impressed with both the quality and the quantity of mascots, there’s one fairly severe problem:  accessibility.  Neither mascot stepped off the field of play and into the stands even once.  No hugs, no high fives, no direct interaction at all.  This is completely unacceptable at the single-A level!  Even major-league mascots will get into the stands, frequently to all levels of the stadium.  With only a couple thousand fans on hand and two mascots, each person in the stands needs to be personally greeted.  This highly disappointing shortcoming hurts the score.

Still, however, a fine ballpark and a fun experience every time I go.  The problems here are easily fixed…with some work on the grass and some mascots in the stands, I may change the score later on.

BIG UPDATE:  Michelle and I enjoyed our wedding rehearsal dinner at Everett Memorial Stadium in 2005.  Click here for all the fun!


Regional feel:  7/10
Espresso stands and a view of Mt. Baker.

Charm:  4/5
Mostly quite sweet.

Spectacle: 4/5
Constant, clever, wonderful, and I could have won $5000…but never interferes with the game.  That said, the score is hurt because mascots never leave the field.

Team mascot/name:  4.5/5

Frank on the left, Webbly on the right.  Multiple mascots, and Frank is a fine idea.

Aesthetics:  3.5/5
Nice overall.  It’s a bit of a strain to see the mountains, and metal bleachers aren’t pretty.

Pavilion area:  5/5
Huge areas of grass to play catch or have a picnic.  Outstanding.

Scoreability:  4/5
Nice job by the PA guy, but there needs to be an “At Bat” notation on the scoreboard.

Fans:  4/5

Intangibles:  5/5
This score has gone up since my first visit–as Everett will always have a place in my heart for hosting my rehearsal dinner.

TOTAL:  37/50


Four Dust Devil errors–three by shortstop Jonathan Swearingen–play a role in all 4 AquaSox runs.

A funny mental error by the AquaSox’s Josh Ellison.  He’s called safe after sliding into second on a fielder’s choice…he beat the throw.  But I guess he didn’t think so much of his speed…he definitely didn’t think to look at the umpire, because he moseyed right on towards his dugout and was tagged out in the consequent rundown.  (To be fair, I’ve seen a similar error in person by a major leaguer…Quinton McCracken thought an out on a teammate’s rundown was the third when it was the second.  He stepped off second base, and Ken Griffey Jr. snuck in behind him to tag him out for the third out of the inning for the Mariners.  It turned out to be a 7-2-4-6-8 double play.)  So chin up, Josh…happens to everyone.  I guess.

A horrible 19-9 win by the Yakima Bears over Everett, which I mention for one reason only:  All nine of Yakima’s starters finished the game with at least one run, hit, AND RBI.  That’s right…there were no zeroes in the traditional box score.

BRANDON CASHMAN, bay-bee!  Set a Northwest League record (and the Northwest League has been around for 50 years!) by hitting four homers for Spokane in an 18-9 victory over Everett in 2004.  He also tied the record for RBIs with 9.  I’m keeping my eye open and hoping this wasn’t an anomaly.  (January 2007:  It was.  He peaked at low-A ball and is now out of the affiliated minors.)

In 2005, I saw Yakima’s Brandon Burgess hit a home run–notable because I was sitting next to his grandparents.  That was awesome.

Salem-Keizer’s Adam Cowart looked nearly unhittable in short-season A…his ERA was under 1 late in the season when he gave up two hits in 6 innings with 7 strikeouts.  His delivery was bizarre…I swear it looked like he was, um, taking a dump.  He crouches down to a Jeff Bagwell crouch, then pitches…and nobody in the Northwest League could hit it.  Another guy to keep an eye on.  He was fun to watch.

A hilarious 20-7 loss to the Vancouver Canadians at the end of the 2006 season.  Vancouver scored runs in every inning except the fifth; Everett scored all 7 of its runs in the fifth.

(Written August 2003.  Updated August 2009.)

Memorial Stadium, Boise, Idaho

Memorial Stadium, Boise, IDAHO

Number of states: 2
States to go: 48
Number of games: 2
First game:  July 5, 2003 (Tri-City Dust Devils 6, Boise Hawks 4)
Most recent game:  June 28, 2013 (Boise Hawks 5, Eugene Emeralds 4, 10 innings)

After attending my first game in Spokane, I had a bit of a problem.  How did I know whether the first minor league park on my trip was a good one or a not-so-good one?  Well,

all it took was a trip to Boise and I knew.  Spokane has a good ballpark.  Boise’s?  Not so good.

There were a number of problems, but (and I’m sorry, Idahoans) the primary problem was with the raucousness of the fans.  It was like a library in there!  I could have gotten some good studying done–or maybe written some music–while you sat not cheering at the game.  And it’s not just that you weren’t cheering. You weren’t even speaking.

Not making any noise at all!  Normally, during the quiet moments of a ballgame, I’ll hear the low hum of a few thousand conversations.  Not here. Yeah, it was a little hot–in the upper ’80s–but I know this is a problem with the fans and not the heat.  How do I know?  As we observed moments of silence around each

pitch, I heard the following priceless utterance from the high-school aged guy behind me:  “Do they let you shout while the pitcher’s pitching?”  Come on!  These guys aren’t Tiger Woods; they can handle the noise.  Politeness is nice–it’s an aspect of life that’s falling from favor.  And I suppose I’d rather have polite folks who are quiet at ballparks than rude folks who are loud.  But still, REV IT UP a bit!

Game management wasn’t all it could have been.  After ball three to the first or second batter of the game, our PA guy went ahead and announced the next hitter.  The home plate umpire turned around and gave the PA guy this look–and beneath that look I could see his thought–“It’s going to be a long, long day.”  If you can’t trust the PA guy to follow the pitch count, can you trust him to give all the scoring information when it’s more difficult?  Also, there was another blunder–there was several simultaneous sounds that melded together into an indecipherable muddle.  For example:  We had songs over the PA while a fairly cool bluegrass band was playing.  Two competing sounds were not enough for the Boise Hawks people, I guess, because

while these songs competed with each other, they’d be doing a promotion on the field–where a guy had a microphone.  Apparently they didn’t want that guy to be even that easy to hear, because his microphone kept fritzing out.  What a mess.  How can I enjoy music or promotions I can’t hear?  There was a particularly stupid scoreboard graphic too.  Immediately after Dust Devils pitcher Brian Lynch delivered low and outside on his first pitch to a batter I don’t remember, they put the numbers one through four on the screen, and put a check mark over the number one.  That’s right…they had a wacky scoreboard graphic for ball one! How desperate do you have to be for graphics to invent a ball one graphic?

To be sure, there were some positives.  The ballpark had a lovely panorama past the outfield, and therefore did fairly well in the “is there any question where you are” test.  And the bluegrass band was a good idea, even though I couldn’t hear it.  I also liked the way they rounded up every kid in the stands and brought them onto the field to sing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” for the seventh-inning stretch.

The mascot joined them, as did the bluegrass band and a couple of creepy clowns. Also, there was another “only in the minors” moment: apparently the amenities aren’t all they should be in the home locker room, as thirty minutes before his start, I spotted Boise’s starting pitcher that day, Rich Hill, stepping outside the locker room to get some cellphone reception!


Regional feel:  7.5/10
Some nice hills beyond the outfield ratchet up the score here.

Charm:  3/5
For whatever reason, this stadium did nothing for me in this area.

Spectacle: 2.5/5
I simply couldn’t hear a lot of what was going on.  Would have been better to do none at all.

Team mascot/name:  3.5/5

Humphrey the Hawk and me.  Kinda ugly, but not bad.  (Need I say I’m referring to Humphrey and not me?)

Aesthetics:  4/5
Can’t beat the view.  The ballpark itself isn’t too attractive, however.

Pavilion area:  3/5

Scoreability:  2/5

Fans:  1.5/5

Intangibles:  3/5
Maybe it was just a bad game or a rough day (drove 8 hours to get there), but there wasn’t much exciting to me.  The heat might have also gotten to me a bit.  By the way, if you’re planning on going to a game at Boise Memorial Stadium, the third-base side is the shady side.

TOTAL:  30/50


Boise’s Rich Hill struck out 10 in six innings, but took the loss.  Sandy Almonte and Tony McQuade homered.

The 2013 star was the Hawks’ Rony Rodriguez, who hit a pinch-hit, two-out, two-strike game-tying home run in the bottom of the 9th.  Two singles and two walks before an out in the 10th won it, culminating with the walk-off single by Jacob Rogers.


Avista Stadium, Spokane, Washington

Avista Stadium, Spokane, WASHINGTON

Number of states:  1
To go:  49
Number of games: 4
First game:  July 4, 2003 (Yakima Bears 13, Spokane Indians 7)
Most recent game: July 27, 2019 (Spokane Indians 2, Vancouver Canadians 1, 10 innings)

Can’t think of a more appropriate day to start the Minor League Ballpark Quest than the 4th of July, or a better way to start

it than on a road trip with the cool and awesome girlfriend Michelle.  And get this:  it was her idea. I had a think-out-loud moment where I said I wanted to go to a minor league game in all fifty states, and within minutes she wanted to do a road trip.  Michelle’s a bit of a baseball fan–competitive in my fantasy baseball league and a former employee of a minor league team, so she likes spending some days at the ballpark.  So I was glad to have her come along to get things going.

They’ve done nice work in Spokane with Avista stadium.  I’ll admit they started with a fairly lame promotion…the will-call window is inside a pickup truck.(Get it?  The ticket pickup window?  Yeah, I know, lame.)  But once you get inside, there are multiple positive attributes to the stadium.  For starters, they have a real sense of minor league baseball history.  There’s an entire museum exhibit with the

history of minor league baseball in Spokane.  Two things I did not know:  one, Spokane was the Dodgers’ first farm club after moving to Los Angeles, and that Maury Wills and Steve Garvey and other folks played there, and Tommy Lasorda managed there.  The other is that the Spokane Indians were the victims of the worst accident in American professional sports history when nine members of their team perished when their bus slid off a snowy road in 1949.  I like that there’s a little baseball museum inside the park to teach me stuff like that.

Other nice bits about their fantastic pavilion were clear listings of the lineups (and the fact that I wasn’t the only one copying them),

some fine music, programs for only a buck, and energetic hawkers.  Once I got into the stadium, I found a similar situation to Everett Memorial Stadium in that there were section leaders, mostly perky and attractive college kids,  welcoming you, telling you their names, and volunteering themselves to help in whatever way was necessary.  It made for a fine experience.  In truth, the only drawbacks to the experience were the game (Spokane gave up 8 runs in an endless sixth inning) and a few fans with anger management problems.  Some bastard kept yelling at the umpire during Yakima’s big inning, saying “Ladies and gentlemen, our home plate umpire, born and raised in Yakima!!!”  Does he think he’s clever?  Does the think he’s interesting?  Is he aware how stupid he looks?  Chill out, man, it’s the minor leagues.  If the ump’s bad (and he wasn’t), he’ll be gone soon enough anyway, and this idiot fan will be getting an ulcer about something else.

But I won’t let that override a fine experience, with multiple mascots (Otto the “Spokane-a-saurus”–decked out in patriotic duds and a white beard!–and a woman dressed as the Statue of Liberty), a bunch of promotions, and free American flags.  The latter

led to a pretty funny moment–Spokane’s right fielder, Brandon Simon, ran out to his position with a flag in his hand in a patriotic gesture, but appeared (to me) to realize, once he was out there, that he had nowhere he could respectfully put the flag.  So, after a second of aimlessly meandering with his flag, he had to run back to the dugout to hand it to a teammate.

Also, Spokane looked to me to be a fine place–a place I could imagine living happily if ever I decided to leave the big city.  Nice riverfront walk–a good place to spend the evening watching fireworks.  It was a much smaller city than I’d imagined…I know it’s the biggest city between Seattle and Minneapolis, but of course, I never stopped to think how little else there is between Seattle and Minneapolis.  But it felt cozy.

A great place to start the ballpark quest!  I imagine, when I finally cross the 50th state off and finish my quest, when I’m middle-aged and graying, it’ll still be near the top of my list.


Regional feel:  9/10
The museum and the outfield view combine to make this a very high score.

Charm:  4.5/5
It felt just right.

Spectacle:  5/5
Lots of wacky promotions–which I like in the low minors–and none interfered with play.

Team mascot/name:  3/5
Multiple mascots, but “Spokane-o-saurus?”  Please…probably done right about the time of Jurassic Park. And I’m PC enough to be bothered by the nickname “Indians.”

Aesthetics:  5/5
Lovely views and a good-looking stadium.

Pavilion area:  5/5
Again, the museum was perfect, diverse food options…a great feel.

Scoreability:  4/5

Fans: 3.5/5
Lighten up, guys!

Intangibles:  4.5/5
The crappy game didn’t help.

TOTAL:  43.5/50


Spokane’s Andrew Wishy gets 4 hits, including a home run, in a losing cause.  Kevin Richardson also homers for Spokane.  Jamie D’Antona homers for Yakima.  The top of the sixth features 8 runs, 7 hits, two errors, three walks, a hit batsman, a passed ball, and a balk.  That there is short-season A baseball!

The 2013 game ended on a 3-2 pickoff of the tying-run-on-first.  I hadn’t ever seen that before:  it was an awesome way to end a game.

Peter Van Gansen of the Tri-City Dust Devils hits a walk-off single in the 10th inning to lead the Northwest League to victory over the Pioneer League in the first Northwest League/Pioneer League All-Star Game.  You bet my family headed out there to see it…it was a splendid experience. Nice kids signing autographs.  Spokane Indians (like, members of the actual tribe) doing a traditional dance to start the festivities to show their ties to the team. Teams wearing uniforms with the team names listed in Spokane Indian language.  And my second home run derby.  It’s far more fun to watch a home run derby in person.

Written July 2003. Updated April 2016.