• View of a baseball stadium showing a pitcher on the mound with a grandstand behind him and Mount Rainier in the distance. Text overlaying the image says "My night with the Tacoma Rainiers."
    ballparks,  Washington state

    My night with the Tacoma Rainiers – August 3, 2019

    The Tacoma Rainiers play in a ballpark that was originally built in 100 days prior to the 1960 season.  Fifty years later Cheney Stadium underwent a major renovation and stands as a South Sound staple.  The ballpark also affords fans the opportunity to see the highest mountain in Washington state, Mount Rainier. Arriving at the ballpark Cheney Stadium is approximately six miles from downtown Tacoma.  It is close to the I-5 and Washington State Route 16 interchange, which makes it easy to access from several nearby cities.  Parking in an adjoining lot to the stadium costs $5.  Pierce Transit Route #2 runs from downtown to 19th Street and South Stevens…

  • Street corner with a large building and text overlaying image that says "My experience at the Hampton Inn Seattle/Everett."
    hotel review,  Washington state

    My experience at the Hampton Inn Seattle/Everett

    For my visit to an Everett AquaSox baseball game, I wanted a hotel close to the ballpark and easily accessible from I-5 (read about my visit to the AquaSox game here).  The Hampton Inn Seattle/Everett was a great match.  The hotel is a five-minute drive or a 25-minute walk to Funko Field.  Additionally, it is about half mile to Angel of the Winds Arena or Funko headquarters.  Paine Field, which restarted commercial air service in March 2019, is a 12-minute drive from the hotel. King guest room Traveling with my wife Katie, we opted for a king guest room.  It comfortably fit our two large suitcases, two carry-on bags, and…

  • Overview of a baseball field from behind home plate with text overlaying it that says "My night with the Everett AquaSox."
    ballparks,  Washington state

    My night with the Everett AquaSox – August 2, 2019

    The Everett AquaSox play in the oldest ballpark in the Northwest League.  However, Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium has undergone several renovations and looks good for a facility that opened in 1949.  A naming-rights deal between the Everett School District and local toy maker Funko signed before the 2019 has brought new life to the park, too. Arriving at the ballpark Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium is less than a mile from downtown Everett.  The ballpark is also under a mile from an interchange with I-5.  So, it is incredibly easy to reach the stadium from anywhere in the area.  Limited parking near the team’s front office at…

  • Diagonal view of a building with text overlaying it that says "My experience at the EVEN Hotel Eugene."
    hotel review,  Oregon

    My experience at the EVEN Hotel Eugene

    For my visit to a Eugene Emeralds baseball game, I wanted a hotel not too far from the ballpark (read about my visit to an Ems game here).  The EVEN Hotel Eugene in the Harlow area was a great match.  The hotel is a three-minute drive, a 13-minute bus ride, and a 20-minute walk from the baseball stadium.  Additionally, it is a five-minute drive to Downtown Eugene and a six-minute drive to the Whiteaker neighborhood. Wellness king room Traveling with my wife, we chose a wellness king room.  There is plenty of space for two large suitcases plus two carry-on suitcases and a pair of backpacks.  The desk was a…

  • Overview of a baseball stadium with a text box that says "My night with the Eugene Emeralds."
    ballparks,  Oregon

    My night with the Eugene Emeralds – July 25, 2019

    College baseball teams and short-season Minor League clubs sharing a ballpark have become commonplace over the last decade.  The University of Oregon Ducks and Eugene Emeralds are one of the first partnerships between a collegiate team and a Minor League club.  The university built PK Park for a reborn Ducks baseball program, but the Emeralds have made their mark on the ballpark, too. Arriving at the ballpark PK Park is northeast of Autzen Stadium, home of the University of Oregon football team.  The park is about a 10-minute drive from downtown Eugene.  The parking lot is off Leo Harris Parkway.  Parking costs $5 per vehicle, but pre-paid parking is available…

  • Exterior overview of a large hotel building with text overlaying it that says, "My experience at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Salem, Oregon."
    hotel review,  Oregon

    My experience at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Salem, Oregon

    For my first visit to a Salem-Keizer Volcanoes baseball game, I sought a hotel that split the distance between the ballpark and downtown Salem (read about my visit to the ballpark here).  The DoubleTree Hotel Salem in northeast Salem was ideal.  It is about 15 minutes from the stadium and 10 minutes to the Oregon State Capitol.  Additionally, the hotel is 5 minutes from the Oregon State Fair Expo Center. One king with sofa bed and sitting area Traveling with my wife, we opted for a king room.  There is plenty of space for a small carry-on suitcase and two computer bags/backpacks.  The room is divided into a sitting area…

  • Overview of a baseball stadium from the outfield facing the grandstand with text overlaying the image that says "My night with the Hillsboro Hops."
    ballparks,  Oregon

    My night with the Hillsboro Hops – July 23, 2019

    The Hillsboro Hops came into existence in 2013, and quickly connected the franchise to Portland’s craft brewing industry.  The team’s name honors Portland as one of America’s craft beer epicenters.  For the uninitiated, hops are a plant used to brew beer.  More specifically, hops are a flower that provide aroma and bitterness to beer.  For people who love baseball and craft beer Hillsboro may be the hoppiest place on earth. Arriving at the ballpark Ron Tonkin Field, home of the Hillsboro Hops, is located on the western edge of metropolitan Portland.  It is approximately 15 miles from downtown, which takes 25 to 40 minutes by car depending on traffic.  The…

  • Aerial overview of a baseball field with an interstate in the background and text overlaying the image that says "My night with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes."
    ballparks,  Oregon

    My night with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes – July 19, 2019

    Like many Minor League teams the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes are the center of a development plan.  For years Keizer mayor Dennis Koho and community leaders sought to boost their local economy.  Ultimately they began looking for a Minor League team to anchor a shopping complex on the edge of town.  The plan came to fruition when the owners of the Bellingham Giants agreed to relocate their franchise, which gave birth to the Volcanoes in 1997. Arriving at the ballpark Although Volcanoes Stadium is visible from I-5, it is not as easy to reach as it appears.  Fans turn onto Stadium Drive and then navigate through Keizer Station shopping center before arriving…

  • Overview of a room with several wooden picnic benches and a large bar in the background. Text overlaying image says "A pint at Sun King Brewery (Section sign) Indianapolis, Indiana."
    craft beer,  Indiana

    A pint at Sun King Brewery in Indianapolis, Indiana

    The ownership group of Sun King Brewery includes five people, but Dave Colt and Clay Robinson stand front and center as the pair who drive the bus.  The pair’s long history in the Indianapolis beer scene led them to start their own brewery in 2009, which is now the second-largest brewer in Indiana. Brewery’s history Colt and Robinson met while working at Ram Restaurant & Brewery.  Eventually Robinson quit his job and turned his attention to opening a production brewery.  In search of a head brewer, Robinson turned to Colt and the duo began developing what would become Sun King Brewery.  The ownership group expanded to include Clay’s father Omar,…

  • Map of Oregon and Washington State with multiple baseball team logos and text overlaying that says "Pacific Northwest Baseball Road Trip."
    ballparks,  craft beer,  travel

    Pacific Northwest baseball road trip preview

    With my wife Katie enrolled in a graduate certificate program, we knew that our summer travels would take us to the Pacific Northwest.  Naturally this meant I got to plan a Pacific Northwest baseball road trip!  Katie will spend a month in Portland, Oregon, before I meet her there.  We will spend a week together in Portland before traveling to Seattle, Washington.  In Seattle, we will work together at a sports camp, and she will do more work to complete her certification.  So our Pacific Northwest baseball road trip will span two states and four weeks. Baseball games Our travels in Oregon and Washington are built around my wife’s academic/work…