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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Joe Tinker and the Boys

As I work at a leisurely rate on the "Talent Poems," exploring the edges, I'm taking on something else, a project I've had in mind for quite some time now.

It's a rewrite of my old six-part history of baseball in Portland's early times.  Doing a little addition and subtraction with it, cleaning it up, using the little bit that is available online, which is obviously something I couldn't do in 1980 when I first published the series with a Northwest Portland monthly.

The recent research has taught me a few things I didn't know.  Maybe no one did when I first scoured the microfiche at the library and wrote the initial stuff. Well, obviously someone did, but I don't remember reading about it in the Oregonian, which was my main research crutch.

For instance, how did I miss the fact that Joe Tinker played in Portland in 1901?

The initial work ended in early 1980 of course, around the time baseball promoter and Beavers co-owner David Hersh came to town for a few years before returning to his roots on the east coast.

Hersh owns a sports consulting business in Portland now.  Has PSU as one of his clients.

I should include a few things about the Hersh years in the new draft; in fact, I already have a previously published essay about Hersh's time that I wrote a couple of years ago.  It'll fit in nicely.

The Portland Beavers came and went a few times after the initial series.  I should briefly write that up as well, but the body of the work will be the six stories.

The team disappeared for good in 2010.  Soccer mogul Merritt Paulson sold them out of town so he could convert their old stadium into a futbol field.

Imagine that.  In the good ol' USA.

While others watch and play the game of baseball this summer, I guess I'll be writing about it.  Not a bad deal, since I have more interest in baseball history these days than in the contemporary game.

Though I am listening to the 13th inning of the Orioles/Indians game at the moment.

We'll see what happens.


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