Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

55°F

Portland

Partly Cloudy

Humidity: 93%

Wind: 8 mph

  • 20 Oct 2014

    Showers Late 63°F 52°F

  • 21 Oct 2014

    Mostly Cloudy 63°F 55°F


Take me out to the Museum

This month, baseball returns to Washington County in a big way. The Hillsboro Hops — a Class A short-season baseball team — will throw the first pitch at their stadium in the Gordon Faber Recreation Center on Monday and usher in a new era of professional baseball for the Portland metro area.by: NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CINDY DAUER - This signed baseball from the 1951 New York Giants team includes the signature of Verboort protege Larry Jansen. Jansen pitched for the Giants, who went 96-58 that year (wins-losses) and played in the World Series, which they lost to the New York Yankees in six games.

To celebrate the occasion, the Washington County Museum offers “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” an exhibit that touches every base of the sport’s local history, such as the Verboort pitcher who went on to play with Willie Mays on the 1951 New York Giants.

Opening Wednesday, June 19, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” chronicles Washington County’s 100-plus years of baseball history. The story starts with the town teams of the early 20th century, when the “boys of summer” from the communities of Banks, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Forest Grove, Tigardville and Verboort faced off in weekly games.by: SUBMITTED LOGO - 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game' exhibit opens Wednesday at the Washington County Museum.

Along with the town teams, the exhibit features the major league careers of some of the area’s most famous local players and some contemporary hometown baseball heroes.

Highlights include a baseball signed by the 1951 New York Giants, including the signatures of Leo Durocher and All-Star pitcher Larry Jansen, originally from Verboort.

Exhibit-goers also will get to see a Gold Glove awarded to Portland-based professional player Dale Murphy, along with historic photos, town team jerseys, a pair of bleacher seats from the old Vaughn Street Stadium in Portland, and more.

The exhibit also examines the rise and fall of professional baseball in the metro area — from the loss of the Portland Beavers to the arrival of the Hops.

Many of the artifacts came from the Washington County Museum’s collection, the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame, the personal collections of local families, and the Old Timers and Active Baseball Association of Portland.

Museum archivist Lindsay Zaborowski searched the museum archives and beyond, seeking rare and interesting artifacts from around the country.

She was able to pull from library archives, oral histories and newspaper articles to complete the local history of baseball in Washington County communities.

Zaborowski found that it wasn’t just about the game — it was about community.

“Historically, baseball is really a community-building thing,” Zaborowski said, pointing to the town teams as major sources of community pride and entertainment. She described how fans would travel what then seemed like great distances to watch the town team games and root for the home team.

Guest Curator Marsha Matthews — who retired from the Oregon Historical Society earlier this year — worked to bring the story of local baseball to life for all ages in this family-friendly exhibit. Baseball is more than just a sport, Matthews believes.

“It is essential to the American spirit,” she said.