Archive for September 3rd, 2008

Salem-Keizer Volcanoes vs. Eugene Emeralds, 8/27/08

In the wake of the ever so slight disappointment of Portland Beavers baseball, I knew I couldn’t wrap up my Oregon visit without checking out at least one other team. The opportunity arose midweek when the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (A-ball affiliate of the San Francisco Giants) hosted the Eugene Emeralds (junior San Diegers), an hour south of Portland on I-5. We found some excellent Ecuadorian food before the game, paid three bucks to park the minivan car, and stepped up to get some seats.

The ticket booth of Volcanoes Stadium, aka “The Crater.” The park is right alongside I-5, its lights a Bus Leagues beacon for miles around. Throughout the game, trucks pulled their air horns in ballgame solidarity.

The concessions stand, a little more old-school than some of the other places I’ve visited this season. Don’t try to get a sandwich at the Healthy Hut. They don’t sell them there anymore.

And here we are: field of dreams. Eat your heart out, PGE Park.

It’s a beautiful place.

Crater, the mascot, is a lavender dinosaur with a baseball for a head. Kind of like if Mr. Met got left in a radiation chamber for a long, long time. While several children were reportedly running away from Crater, screaming, I have to confess great affection for the guy. Otherwise he might eat me.

On to the picnic area. People chilling on the hill, playing catch, watched over by a line of older folks with lawn chairs and blankets.

The Sno-Cone girl and the soda guy. I told them I was a reporter from the Bus Leagues Blog. The soda guy was skeptical. Eric and Brian, I need some business cards.

The volcano mounted on the left-field scoreboard erupts whenever a Volcano hits a home run. After getting kicked around pretty good—the Emeralds were up 13-3—we finally got to see some seismic action in the bottom of the sixth, courtesy of DH Michael Ambort (1.059 OPS this year).

Also, further mitigating the slaughter, it was Volcanoes Idol Night. After every other inning, local rising stars would sing their hearts out behind home plate. I don’t think this girl won, but in my book, everyone’s a winner.

At the end of the seventh, Eugene was up 17-4. These ladies deemed it time to bust out the knitting, and we hit the road.