Dear Sean VanGordon [Mayor; Springfield. Oregon]:
Good day, Sir. We have not formally met, but you have been haunting my vivid dreams of a late as you force my good friend, Allan Benavides [General Manager; Eugene Emeralds] to rebrand his team to the Glenwood Hobos as part of a land deal for a new minor league baseball stadium. In the distance, the ghost of Dirty Dick searches for Little Nell. Is my vision prescience? Or the result of dining too late, then falling asleep to Mark Knopfler? I write this missive in hopes you will answer a few questions to ensure you get out of my head in the dark hours of the night.
Do you like minor league baseball, Mr. Mayor? You know, in the sense that MiLB can be a viable economic force for a local community? Or in the sense of the crack of the bat, the flashing of the leather, carnage and glory sense? Just what is motivating you to be open overtures to bring the beloved Emeralds to your fair city? Pecuniary gains? Fame? Groupies? Increases In per capita income of the citizens of Springfield? Multi-collinearity in regression analysis? What makes you tick, Mr. Mayor? I need to know.
You might be wondering just who I am, even though I am a pretty big deal in your neighbor city, Eugene after the splash I made this summer. The short answer is that I am a minor league baseball ambassador who travels from city to city, bringing inspiration and cheer. Some say I am a prophet. Others say I am a lunatic. I did raise $1,900 in a twenty-four hour period for the Boys and Girls’ Club of the Emerald Valley during the now quite famous Bads85 Mad Dash to Eugene in which a road companion and I raced through the night to make it to Eugene for a Thirsty Thursday at PK Park, play a round of golf at Eugene Country Club, then turn around to make it to California Burrito Night at San Manuel Stadium, home of the Inland Empire 66ers. It was an exciting trip, and I made lifelong friends long the way because in the end, that is what MiLB is all about.
What assurances can you give me that the Emeralds will be in good hands in Springfield, Oregon? This goes well beyond poachers taking pot shots at the beloved Squatch and Sluggo. What is your plan to provide an enduring home for the Emeralds so generations of future fans can enjoy professional baseball in the Emerald Valley? Sure, the gift of land is a wonderful start, but what is happening on your end to help promote the Emeralds on a national level to ensure the team becomes a travel destination of fans all across the minor league landscape? Hint: ensure the MiLB Hall of Fame is part of the stadium. The Federal and state government are much more likely to kick your city funds if a museum is involved.
And please tell me, Mr. Mayor, what does Springfield offer in terms of a historical theme for the new stadium? I must confess I have not been to Springfield much in my visits to Eugene, but I was denied entrance to the Roaring Rapids Pizza Company back in the very dark days of COVID. I also stayed at the TRU by Hilton, which may or may not be in Springfield, but the guys I drank with in that parking lot sure seemed to be, but they did not really offer me any other local information other than lumber, trains, and how the Emeralds’ old stadium burned down. I am facing a rare knowledge hole here beyond the television show, so any pertinent information you can share would be greatly appreciated.
Hey, do you have any idea on how to solve the homeless problem that affects your region? Rather than emulating most politicians who project false compassion, perhaps you can start with providing these human beings running, hot water instead of punitively denying basic needs in hopes the problem goes away. Or you can just slap a tent tax on the city, and send them to live by the freeway in Gresham. Your choice, Mr. Mayor.
Whoa, I did not mean to get so serious on what is essentially a social call. Let’s stay focused on the big prize, which is a new baseball stadium that will put your fine city on the map. I must say, your city’s Chamber of Commerce’s web page is excellent but it would really POP with some stadium pictures – pictures that include boatloads of people spending money.
I look forward to your future correspondence.
Your friend in baseball,