Visit Hillsboro's Ron Tonkin Field
Welcome to Ron Tonkin Field in Hillsboro, Ore. Browse the stacks at a famous bookstore in nearby Portland or take your pick of outdoor activities from the ocean to the mountains in the northwest corner of the Beaver State. Plan things right, and you could spend the morning skiing before going to a ballgame in the evening.
Hillsboro Hops (High-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks)
Established: 2013 (after relocating from Yakima, Wash.)
Ballpark: Ron Tonkin Field (opened 2013)
League: Northwest League
Notable Alumni: Brad Keller, Dansby Swanson
Championships: 2014, 2015, 2019
The Hops are the first team to call Oregon’s fifth-largest city (pop. 106,447) home, but neighboring Portland has been host to teams going back to the 1890s. The Portland Beavers were a charter member of the Pacific Coast League in 1903 and had a presence in that circuit, off and on, until 2010. One of those gaps occurred from 1973-77, when the Portland Mavericks filled the void. An independent team owned by former actor Bing Russell, the Mavericks lived up to their name by filling out the roster with a cast of characters that included former actors; Bing’s son, the soon-to-be-actor Kurt Russell; and Major Leaguer Jim Bouton. (The documentary “The Battered Bastards of Baseball” is an outstanding look back at the team.)
Ron Tonkin Field
4460 NE Century Blvd.
Hillsboro, OR 97124
Dimensions: left field, 325 feet; center field, 400 feet; right field, 325 feet
Park factors (2021-22)
100 = league average
Runs: 91 | Homers: 63 | Hits: 95
Northwest League environment: 4.97 runs per team per game (sixth-highest among 11 full-season leagues)
Ron Tonkin Field is part of the Gordon Faber Recreation Complex, which includes eight other baseball/softball fields and a football/soccer stadium that abuts the ballpark’s third-base grandstand. American Legion baseball is also played at Ron Tonkin Field.
Before walking through the gates, be sure to check out “Barometer,” the 15-foot-tall sculpture out front, with baseball bats and balls as part of the laser-cut pattern. LED lights in the artwork change colors when activated by sound from the venue – a barometer of the fans’ excitement inside.
The intimate ballpark consists of just one main seating level with 14 rows of seats, keeping fans close to the action. The double-wide main concourse along the third-base line features picnic tables at the top of the seating areas and leads to the grass berm that stretches from the end of the third-base stands to the scoreboard in left-center field. A kids zone with bounce houses and an inflatable slide can be found 400 feet from home plate in dead center field, offering a knothole view of the game and an up-close look at the Hops’ bullpen.
The Hop Garden picnic area is in the right-field corner, just below a beer garden at the end of the first-base concourse. Two party decks and a legends club are part of the main structure encircling the home plate seating area.
Pizza of some sort is usually a staple at ballparks across the country, but not many have an authentic wood-fired oven to produce a charred, crispy, tasty crust. Added to Ron Tonkin Field for the 2021 season, it became an instant hit.
Both the first- and third-base concourses include the standard hot dogs, burgers, chicken strips, nachos, popcorn and more. Exclusive to the third-base side, Barley’s Smokehouse offers BBQ platters and hand-dipped ice cream, and Longbottom Coffee serves up both hot and iced coffee, lattes and specialty drinks. The beer garden on the first-base side has options from several local breweries in a region known for its craft brews – it’s why they named the team the Hops!
There are some 80 varieties of hops, so rather than choose one for the name of the mascot (like Cascade or Chinook or Simcoe …), the team instead went with a fourth grader's suggestion. That child may not have had any knowledge of the brewing process, but the name chosen – Barley The Hop – combines two ingredients in beer making to produce a robust, full-bodied creation loved by many. If the mascot unexpectedly shows up in the background of your pictures, you’ve got yourself … a Hop bomb!
As the seat of Washington County, Hillsboro boasts a bustling Main Street that includes arts centers, theaters, shops, antique stores and restaurants. Much of the baseball season overlaps with a farmers market on Saturdays (from May to October), the Hillsboro Tuesday Marketplace (June to August) and the Hillsboro Art Walk, which features artists and musicians throughout town on the first Tuesday of every month.
Ron Tonkin Field sits along a well-developed stretch of U.S. 26 – Sunset Highway – that leads from Portland to the Oregon Coast, about 45 minutes west. Head toward the Pacific to tour the Tillamook Creamery and try its cheese and ice cream or visit Cannon Beach and the iconic Haystack Rock, which has popped up in movies like “The Goonies” and “Kindergarten Cop.”
Portland is about 20 minutes east of the ballpark. There, you can browse Powell’s Books, the world’s largest independent bookstore; spend the afternoon at the zoo or the art museum; or sample the local cuisine. Fans of “The Simpsons” may want to tour creator Matt Groening’s hometown to track down the landmarks and streets that inspired the names of characters on the show.
Outdoors enthusiasts might continue past Portland to explore the Columbia River Gorge, hike to the top of Multnomah Falls or visit Mount Hood, Oregon’s highest peak – where the ski season stretches into early May.
Food and Drink
Visitors to the area may default to Portland for dining options, but Hillsboro and the Tualatin Valley can measure up. Copper River is about 10 minutes from the ballpark and serves steak, burgers, seafood, pasta and more. Both cities also offer plenty of options when it comes to wine and beer, and those in town for a few days can branch out to explore one of the region's wine loops or ale trails.
The Aloft Hillsboro-Beaverton houses visiting teams when they come to play the Hops and has been called the best hotel in the league. It’s one of many reasonably priced options within a 15-minute drive to the ballpark.
The only other affiliated team in Oregon is the Eugene Emeralds, the Giants’ High-A West affiliate, who play two hours down I-5 on the University of Oregon campus. But from late May to early August, the collegiate West Coast League features four teams (one-fourth of the league) within the state: the Portland Pickles, the Bend Elks, the Corvallis Knights and the Springfield Drifters. Recent West Coast alumni include 2020 AL Cy Young Award winner Shane Bieber, sluggers Mitch Haniger and Rhys Hoskins, and Adley Rutschman, the No. 1 pick in the 2019 Draft.
The Road to Phoenix
Arizona’s affiliates are spread out among four states in the West. Prospective D-backs will start out at Single-A Visalia, Calif., before coming to Hillsboro. From there, it’s on to Double-A in Amarillo, Texas, and Triple-A Reno, Nev., before a hopeful callup to Chase Field. Check out other Ballpark Guides at the links below.
Single-A: Visalia Rawhide (Visalia, Calif.)
High-A: Hillsboro Hops (Hillsboro, Ore.)
Double-A: Amarillo Sod Poodles (Amarillo, Texas)
Triple-A: Reno Aces (Reno, Nev.)