Hillsboro Hops officials said Wednesday they’ve received an invitation to continue the thriving franchise’s relationship, in a higher league, with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Hops are set to become the Diamondbacks Single-A Advanced affiliate, meaning they’ll play 132 regular-season games, including 66 at Ron Tonkin Field. The Hops were previously a short-season Single-A team that played 76 total games. The Hops season will now begin in April, as opposed to mid-June.
The moves come after months-long rumblings that Major League Baseball hoped to consolidate many of its minor-league affiliations as a cost-cutting move.
In Hillsboro, the Hops regularly attracts thousands of baseball fans to its tidy and comfortable layout. The team has become a reliable part of the city’s fabric.
“Being promoted to Single-A Advanced is a tremendous opportunity,” said KL Wombacher, the team’s president. “It is a testament to the success we’ve had in Hillsboro since 2013. We have a great recipe with a first-class facility, outstanding fans, and a supportive community that led to Hillsboro being a perfect place to develop big leaguers.”
The team launched eight seasons ago in Hillsboro. Wombacher said the Hops will soon reveal new safety protocols for fans looking to attend games in 2021.
Excerpted in part from Andy Giegerich’s article in the Portland Business Journal.