HILLSBORO, Ore. – On a day like today, it’s hard to think about the “Boys of Summer.”
But, some big news announced by the Hillsboro Hops Friday.
The Hops have signed a 10 year deal with Major League Baseball to play in “Advanced A”.
The team will remain an affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
As part of the jump, the Hops will now play 132 regular season games between April and September.
And Ron Tonkin Field will be upgraded to meet Major League Baseball standards for the higher level.
Those renovations will be announced at a later date.
Hillsboro, OR. (February 12, 2021) –The Hillsboro Hops (@HillsboroHops) have signed a 10-year Professional Development League agreement with Major League Baseball. The agreement follows the invitation in December by the Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) for the Hops to be their Single-A Advanced affiliate.
Being promoted from short season to full season will see the Hops schedule increase from 76 to 132 regular season games. The Hops season is scheduled to run from April to early September, in a typical season. As a result of the higher level of designation, there will also be a higher level of talent, with players likely to stick around longer in Hillsboro.
MLB’s Professional Development League replaces the prior organization of affiliated minor leagues. The Hops were handpicked to be one of 120 teams to participate in the new system.
Commissioner of Major League Baseball Rob D. Manfred Jr. said: “We are excited to unveil this new model, which not only provides a pipeline to the Majors, but continues the Minor Leagues’ tradition of entertaining millions of families in hundreds of communities. In modernizing our Minor League system, we prioritized the qualities that make the Minor Leagues such an integral part of our game while strengthening how we develop professional athletes on and off the field. We look forward to demonstrating the best of our game throughout local communities, supporting all those who are working hard to grow the sport, and sharing unrivaled technology and resources with minor league teams and players.”
As part of this new agreement with MLB, there will be upgraded facility standards, which will lead to improvements at Ron Tonkin Field that will be announced at a later date. MLB and its Professional Development League teams like the Hops, will also collaborate on national marketing and broadcasting opportunities.
The Hillsboro Hops will begin their ninth season as a Diamondbacks’ affiliate, first in a full-season capacity, and 21st year of the partnership dating back to Yakima (2001-12). The Hops spent the previous 8 campaigns (2013-20) as Arizona’s Short-Season A representative, winning 3 league titles (2014-15, ’19).
“Signing this agreement with Major League Baseball is a landmark day for our franchise,” said Hillsboro Hops President KL Wombacher. “From greater investments in our facilities to partnering with MLB on national marketing and broadcast opportunities, this new partnership will truly be major league.”
The Hops will soon communicate additional news regarding the season schedule as well as safety protocols for fans attending games at Ron Tonkin Field prior to the 2021 baseball season.