After a no-doubt necessary delay, the Northwest League's new team in Hillsboro, Oregon -- just a few miles west of Portlandia, literally anyway -- has announced its name, along with the logo:
This hasn't sunk in completely yet, but on the scale of minor-league teams -- where 1 is the Winston-Salem Dash (or any team with "Cats" in the name), and 10 is the Montgomery Biscuits and the Albuquerque Isotopes -- Hillsboro Hops does pretty well, somewhere around 8.
Here's why the new management chose the name:
“The name ‘Hops’ recognizes Hillsboro’s proud agricultural heritage and the fact that Oregon is the second largest hop producing state in the United States,” said K.L. Wombacher, General Manager of the Hillsboro Hops. "Hops is also a term used regularly in baseball –- short hop, bad hop, crow hop. We feel ‘Hops’ encompasses several different components we wanted to include in our team name.”
Somewhat hilariously, K.L. doesn't mention BEER even once, although of course if not for Portland's well-known affection for craft beers, there's no way they would have chosen this name.
When you live in Portland, east of the West Hills, Hillsboro (which isn't hilly, by the way) can seem like a long way away. But it will be nice to have professional baseball again, after a somewhat bizarre two-year absence.