The Portland Pickles kicked off a 2019 “State of the Pickles” address with team owner and former Seahawks punter Jon Ryan and Allen Miller of COLLiDE marketing agency sharing the news that they've taken over majority ownership of the team ahead of the 2019 season. COLLiDE will take control of the day-to-day management of the team, and the group is promising new and exciting improvements in store for returning fans.
In directly related news, the owners announced that the Gresham GreyWolves will be taking a one year hiatus for the 2019 season, but that big plans were in store for their return in 2020. The decision gives the organization a chance to prioritize Pickles fan experience at Walker Stadium, with a direct focus being placed on a new streamlined ticketing service and improved concessions operations.
After welcoming over 64,000 fans through the gates in 2018, the Pickles have now established themselves as the No. 1 attended summer collegiate wooden-bat team in the Western USA. The owners noted that a huge part of that success stems from the special promotional nights that are designed to make each and every game experience at Walker Stadium unique for the fans.
Picklefest will return for 2019, along with a wide array of new and exciting promotional nights including Pride Night, Tackle Jon Ryan Night, and a Future of Baseball Night, which promises to send fans three decades into the future where they'll cheer on the Pickles as they take on the Corvallis Knights in a futuristic game of baseball set in 2050. Additionally, earlier gate times will allow for more pre-game entertainment, with select Friday night games set to bring fans live music from local bands.
On the team operation side of the news, the Pickles announced they'll be welcoming back their entire coaching staff, along with 8 players from last year’s roster, 7 of whom were part of a pitching staff that helped the Pickles lead the West Coast League with a 37-17 record and finish as the South Champions in the first half of the season. Ryan and Miller added that 43 of 46 players on the new roster are D1 athletes, and that hitting will be one of the biggest areas of improvement for the team heading into next season.
A full roster and 2019 schedule has been posted on the Pickles’ newly redesigned website, with a complete list of promotional nights set to roll out in the near future. The season kicks off in June and runs through the end of August. Stay tuned to the Mercury’s Things to Do events calendar for additional info on individual games as the summer approaches.