The Hillsboro Hops are a minor league baseball team in the northwest United States, located in Hillsboro, Oregon, a suburb northwest of Portland. The team was founded in 2013 after the Yakima Bears moved to Hillsboro after the 2012 season.
The team is in the short-season Class A Northwest League, is a farm team of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Home games are played at Ron Tonkin Field, a new stadium opened in 2013.
As early as 2011, the Yakima Bears started exploring options to relocate after a lack of progress on a new stadium that would meet minor league standards, and a declining local economy.
After a proposal to move to Vancouver, Washington, fell through, the team received an offer to move to Hillsboro, Oregon, in June 2012, with plans to start play there in 2013. The city and team reached a deal, with city council approval on June 5, and approval by the league and the franchise on June 8, 2012. The city signed the agreement with the team on June 26, with approval by Major League Baseball coming in August. Ground breaking for a new 4,500-seat stadium took place on September 21, 2012, and the new name of the Hops was announced on October 16, 2012.
The Hillsboro Hops replaced the Triple-A Portland Beavers of the Pacific Coast League, who relocated to Tucson at the end of the 2010 season. The Portland area went without minor league baseball in 2011 and 2012. The Hops opened the 2013 season at Salem on June 14 followed by the home opener on June 17.
The team's inaugural game was a road loss at Salem. and the first win came on June 17 in the home opener against Eugene. Barley, the team's mascot, was introduced on June 28, 2013. The Hops set a franchise record for attendance for the 2014 season with 138,732, and won their division and the league championship. The team was managed to the title by J. R. House, whose coaching staff included former major leaguers Doug Drabek and Mark Grace. Hillsboro swept the championship series with the three-time NWL defending champion Vancouver Canadians. The team set another franchise attendance record in 2015 with 143,412 (average of 3,774 for 38 dates) while winning a second consecutive league title.
The Hops' first game was on June 14, 2013, on the road at the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, a 3-2 loss. Ryan Gebhardt had the team's first hit and Brian Billigen earned the first RBI. The team's first sellout came in the 2013 home opener with 4,710 fans, who watched Jordan Parr hit the first home run in the Hops' history. The Hops won their first division title and league championship during the 2014 season.
The team name is a reference to the plant used in beer brewing (Oregon is the second-largest hop-producing US state by volume), as well as to various baseball terms such as the short hop, bad hop, and crow hop. No previous professional or collegiate sports team has ever been called the "Hops". The team's logo includes a hop cone wearing a baseball hat, evergreen trees, and Mount Hood. Team colors are green, navy blue, and light blue. The Hops' mascot is Barley, who is green with a blue baseball cap. (Barley is another plant used in beer brewing.) The team's branding and logo was named by Ballpark Digest as the best in Minor League Baseball for 2013.
In March 2013, the team announced a three-year deal with BridgePort Brewing Company for the latter to be the official beer of the Hops. Advantis Credit Union, Les Schwab Tires, Nike, Tuality Healthcare, and The Oregonian were the founding sponsors.
Rich Burk was signed as the team's radio announcer on KPOJ (620 AM).