750 The Game Staff
Discourse has ramped up around Major League Baseball to Portland following the news that the Portland Diamond Project plans to make a written offer to the City of Portland of around $50 Million for the right to purchase the 164 acres at RedTail Golf Course.
Why The RedTail Golf Course Property Would Be A “Crown Jewel” For Portland And Major League Baseball
The acreage would become the largest sports and entertainment development in Major League Baseball history.
Local conversations range from excitement of another significant step in pitching MLB expansion to Portland, to concerns of lack of current infrastructure and impact on traffic.
Sometimes it can be helpful to bring in an outside perspective. Joe Maddon, legendary manager of the Rays, Cubs, and Angels, called in to John Canzano (weekdays 3-6 p.m.) on 750 The Game and gave his thoughts on if baseball could work in the Rose City.
His answer was simple.
“Well if it works in Seattle, it works in Portland, right,” Maddon said on 750 The Game. “Seattle Pilots, they go way back. Kind of fun to think about those days with the Pilots and their wonderful uniforms.
“Of course it works. That ballpark up there is one of the best. The fanbase is rabid. They show up. It’s kind of a cult kind of a method the way they follow their group. They’re a very individualistic group of people, and they protect their own. Plus, it’s a beautiful city, not unlike Portland. I think Portland, given the opportunity, is going to come out and kind of work the same kind of a vibe.”
Maddon is familiar with baseball in the state of Oregon, having coached in the minor leagues with the Salem Angels early in his career.
“I was in Salem for two summers in the early 80s we won a championship up there in 1982 with the Salem Angels of the Northwest League. And fans turned out. And to this day, in the recent past I’ve heard from people back there who have had a great time there. Of course it can work there.”
Maddon said there is something unique to a baseball summer in this region that makes it stand out from the rest of the country.
“There’s something about the Pacific northwest when you get up there. Just the air quality seems to be so much better. You get outside, the brightness, when it is a sunny day, it’s a different kind of yellow, I don’t know. You know you’re in the Pacific northwest.”
Should the MLB to PDX group successfully purchase the RedTail Golf Course property, it becomes incumbent to develop the area into something special that works for everyone, not just baseball fans, said Maddon.
“Of course you can support a team up there. It’s about building the right facility with the right kind of options available that really speaks to the community and not just the baseball community. The right kind of location; work properly with the infrastructure. Make it appealing to everybody. Just for those people who aren’t necessarily into baseball. Make this area something to do where they can enjoy and come out to this particular area and suit their needs also. It’s beautiful. I love Portland.
“Again, if Seattle can do it. Of course Portland can do it.”
Listen to the full conversation with Joe Maddon and John Canzano at the podcast link below, including Maddon’s lessons learned from a life in baseball, dealing with peak Barry Bonds in a World Series, what true leadership looks like, and, after Shohei Ohtani, who is the most talented player he has ever managed.
John Canzano delivers the Bald Faced Truth afternoons 3-6 p.m. exclusively in Portland on 750 The Game.