Founded in 2017, the Portland Diamond Project demanded attention from the city’s baseball fans from the start.
They announced potential stadium sites. They released ball park renderings. They sold T-shirts, hats, bumper stickers and associated themselves with the biggest stars in the region.
They built momentum.
And at no point did baseball feel more around the corner than in October of 2019, when the Diamond Project hosted a World Series watch party at Revolution Hall. Hundreds in PDP gear showed up to watch the Nationals beat the Astros 5-4, with the night capped by Portland baseball legend Dale Murphy becoming the 40,000th signature on a petition to bring baseball to the Rose City.
Again, that was 2019.
Four long years later, the steady stream of news from the Diamond Project has slowed to a trickle since the pandemic, while last week Taylor Anderson of Building Salt Lake happened to spot Murphy at the unveiling of Salt Lake City’s new bid to land a baseball team.
“It’s here,” Murphy told Anderson. “It’s where I live, so I wanted to be a part of this effort. I felt bad — I didn’t feel bad, but it was sad to see. [The PDP and I] wished each other good luck.
“…yeah, it won’t be both us and Portland.”
Anderson, who broke the news of the city’s MLB bid, joined a subscribers-only episode of the Traffic Report to tell us about his conversation with Murphy, Salt Lake’s bid and why this doesn’t look good for MLB to PDX.
You can listen in the podcast player above.
— Tyson Alger