Professional baseball is about to begin in Hillsboro, Ore.
The Hillsboro Hops, formerly the Yakima Bears, will open their Northwest League season Friday night at Salem-Keizer. Then, following a three-game series with the Volcanoes, the Hops are scheduled for their home debut in brand-new Hillsboro Ballpark on Monday night against Eugene.
The stadium, with a listed a capacity of 4,500 (3,534 seats), appears to be mostly complete according to photos available on The Oregonian’s website. It is part of the Gordon Faber Recreation Complex and sits just south of Sunset Highway, which connects Hillsboro with Portland.
According to MapQuest, the ballpark is 16.55 miles southwest of the Rose Garden in downtown Portland with drive time estimated at 23 minutes.
With the Bears’ move, the Northwest League has been reconfigured from east and west divisions to north and south. The Hops are in the South Division with Boise, Eugene and Salem-Keizer. The North Division consists of Everett, Spokane, Vancouver and Tri-City.
Audo Vicente, who managed the Bears during their last three seasons here, will be Hillsboro’s skipper with Doug Drabek serving as pitching coach. Drabek, the 1990 National League Cy Young Award winner, was Yakima’s pitching coach in 2010 under manager Bob Didier.
The Hops roster, meanwhile, lists several ex-Bears including infielder Josh Parr, who this year will be joined by younger brother Jordan. Other former Yakima players in Hillsboro are outfielder Yogey Perez-Ramos, first baseman Wagner Mateo and starting pitcher Alex Carreras.