In 1946, Vaughn Street Park also hosted the short-lived Portland Roses of the West Coast Negro Baseball Association. When the league was formed, Vice President of the league, Jesse Owens took ownership of the Portland Roses. The league was also made up of the Seattle Steelheads, the San Diego Tigers, the Los Angeles White Sox, the San Francisco Sea Lions and the Oakland Larks. Portland won their June 4th opener as 1,500 fans watched. Most of the teams soon found themselves in financial trouble and the Association folded in July 1946. Team members packed their bags and headed home.
The Beavers didn’t make any major headlines until they moved to Multnomah Stadium (later Civic Stadium and now PGE Park) in 1956. Multnomah Stadium was built in 1926 with a capacity of 28,000 and it was used almost exclusively for football games until 1956. That was the end of the old Vaughn Street Stadium, it simply died of old age. It was razed in 1957. The Beavers transplanted the grass from the old Vaughn Street Stadium to Civic Stadium. However, the grass vanished in 1969 when Civic Stadium was the first outdoor facility to install Astroturf.
The Dodgers and Giants moved from New York to the West Coast in 1958, effectively transforming the PCL from baseball’s third major league into a AAA classification league. The Beavers become a Major League farm team for the first time joining the St. Louis Cardinals family as their AAA team in 1961. The Beavers became the AAA affiliate for the Kansas City Athletics in 1962.
Then in 1964, the Beavers became the AAA team of the Cleveland Indians. The Beavers became the first AAA team in the history of the Milwaukee Brewers in 1970. In 1971, the Minnesota Twins become the Beavers’ new parent club. Then in 1972, the Beavers became the AAA team of the Cleveland Indians.
In 1973, the Beavers moved to Spokane.Civic Stadium was remodeled again in the 1970’s when a new roof was added. The Press Boxes were moved from on top of the roof to under the roof.
Single A Baseball came to Portland with the Mavericks Baseball Club which was owned by Bing Russell. You could count on seeing Bing’s teenage son, Kurt Russell, the actor, at nearly every game. The Mavericks generated quite a bit of excitement with their colorful promotions.
Then Portland rejoined the PCL in 1978 as an expansion team and the AAA affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. In 1979, the Pittsburgh Pirates became the parent club of the Beavers. The Philadelphia Phillies become the Beavers’ parent club in 1983. In 1987, the Minnesota Twins became the Beavers’ parent club. Then in 1994, the Beavers moved to Salt Lake City. In 1995, the Bend Rockies of the Single A Northwest League moved to Portland.
Triple A ball returned to Portland in 2001 when the Albuquerque Dukes moved to Portland to a remodeled Civic Stadium now known as PGE Park. The team revived the name Beavers and they became affiliated with the San Diego Padres. When the 20,000-seat Park was remodeled, Nexturf was installed on the playing surface. Luxury Boxes were added and they installed “Club” seating. The naming rights were sold to PGE and it was renamed PGE Park. After longtime mascot Round Tripper retired in 1994, he hand-picked his replacement, “Boomer” in 2001.
Financial problems led to a two-year search to find new ownership, after the league assumed ownership, and Abe Alizadeh, 47, from Granite Bay, California invested in the Portland Beavers in 2005. The Sacramento River Cats owner stepped in and assumed operation of the club. Since then, Portland has seen game attendance climb.
In 2007, Merritt Paulson, manager of Shortstop LLC and son of U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, bought the Portland Beavers and the Portland Timbers, Portland’s popular soccer franchise from Portland Baseball Investment Group and he is the primary owner. Paulson, who was recently senior director of marketing and business development at NBA Entertainment in New York, and his wife, Heather, share the duties of full-time presidents of Beavers PCL Baseball LLC.
The Portland Beavers continue as the Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres. The Beavers continue to be popular in Portland through good times and bad, and Baseball continues to be America’s pastime.