I spent many years of my childhood playing softball, so my love for baseball and the game is strong. I can’t tell you how my heart swelled as I heard my 8-year-old son chant, “Hey, batta batta, sahWING batta batta!” at the most recent Portland Pickles game. Attending a few games has sparked his love for the game, too.
My kids received free tickets to a Portland Pickles baseball game as a prize for completing the Multnomah County Library summer reading program. Never having been to one before, we went. After only a few minutes, we knew this wouldn’t be the last game we came to. We ended up going to 5 more games this summer. My son is trying to convince me to get season tickets next year.
Truthfully, I was doubtful he’d make it through the whole game because they’re usually over three hours long. I asked him a few times if he’d like to leave early, to which he looked at me in disbelief and said, “No way!”.
His favorite parts of these games are the snack bar, the loud, energetic atmosphere, and the silly happenings throughout the game. Each game has a dizzy bat contest, a pickle juice chugging contest, and other activities that tie in with whatever theme night it may be. He also adores when the crowd all comes together and sings (bellows) “Sweet Caroline,” “Shout,” and “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” At one of the last games we attended, Atticus got so hyped up that he stood on the bleachers to sing and wildly dance to “Shout.” We noticed a few seconds later that a Portland Pickles employee began recording him on his phone. We told him they’d probably post it somewhere. Sure enough, that night, we got him to find him on the Portland Pickles Instagram page under the caption “Vibe Check.” It has over 5,000 views, and we giggle about how it’s “gone viral” all the time. It was also shown on Fox 12 news relating to the Pickles. Feel free to view the adorableness here.
We were also floored to learn about the breadth of Pickles’ merchandise! At Walker Stadium, where the Pickles play most games, there is a huge selection of jerseys, shirts, hats, baseballs, and all kinds of random team merch. We also learned about an awesome store in Downtown Portland that sells Pickles gear, and it’s most appropriately called “The Pickle Jar.” We explored the store the other day and were excited to learn that they’ll be hosting off-season Pickles events! They encouraged us to check their social media for events continually.
The food available at the stadium features baseball classics like hot dogs, pretzels, pizza, nachos (in a big baseball helmet!), ice cream, hamburgers, and so on. The stadium’s official pizza is local from Atlas Pizza. And, of course, there are a variety of pickles, pickle juices, and even pickle seasoning.
The tickets are inexpensive, the stadium is big, the seating is plentiful, and the food is great, but the most important feature of these games is the energy. Pickles fans aren’t shy and will let you know when they are excited (or displeased) with the game events. My son loves being able to scream his little head off when there’s a hit when our bases are loaded, and he loves screaming about an unfair call from the ref (“Oh, COME ON!”).
I have so loved teaching him about baseball, letting him feel the camaraderie amongst fans, and soaking in every bit of goodness from a baseball environment. These games have brought us closer and given us lifetime memories. I can’t wait to go to a million games with him next year. To peruse season ticket opportunities, stadium info, or learn about the team, head to their website here. I can’t recommend these games enough. Even to people, young and old, who think they aren’t baseball fans.
Let’s go, Pickles!
Stephanie McCoy was born and raised in Portland, Oregon-where she still lives. She recently graduated with a Master’s in Education degree from Concordia University. In her free time: she likes to read and write, get outdoors, embrace her kiddos and husband, and watch travel documentaries.