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Ems announce 50th anniversary schedule.

Byline: Steve Mims The Register-Guard

The Eugene Emeralds unveiled a commemorative logo Wednesday and announced the schedule for their 50th anniversary season the summer of 2004.

In addition to the logo, the Emeralds are planning a series of promotions this season to celebrate a half-century of baseball in Eugene since the team arrived in 1955.

"Ems baseball has been a part of this community for 50 years," said Emeralds president Bob Beban, who will begin his 23rd season with the team this year. "It is special for me to be able to reward the fans, who show such great support of the team, with a spectacular celebration for the 50th anniversary season."

Tentative plans call for theme nights in honor of each decade since the 1950s as well as giveaways with the anniversary logo. In addition, an all-time Emeralds team will be announced during the season.

Eugene opens the 2004 campaign at Salem-Keizer on Friday, June 18 (Season schedule in Scoreboard, Page E4). For the second straight season, the Emeralds and Volcanoes will play a three-game series at the start of the season.

The Ems play their home opener on Monday, June 21, when Tri-City visits Civic Stadium for a five-game series.

As usual, the Emeralds will play a 76-game Northwest League schedule with 38 home dates. Eugene is once again in the West Division along with Salem-Keizer, Everett and Vancouver.

Eugene will host a fireworks show following its game against Salem-Keizer on July 3. The game starts at 6:35 p.m. with fireworks to follow.

The Ems have three Sunday afternoon games that are scheduled to begin at 2:05 p.m.

The Ems close out the regular season at home against Vancouver on Sept. 5. The best-of-five Northwest League championship series begins at the West Division winner on Sept. 7.

For the fourth straight season, the Emeralds are the short-season Class A affiliate of the San Diego Padres. Roy Howell will return for his second season as manager along with hitting coach Ben Oglivie and pitching coach Dave Rajsich.

That is the same coaching staff that guided the Emeralds to a second-place finish in the West last season with a 39-37 record. The Ems have posted back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1986-87.

The Northwest League is also celebrating its 50th anniversary and will host an All-Star Game for the first time since 1983. The game is scheduled for Aug. 3 in Spokane and will feature players from all eight teams.

Eugene was a charter member of the Northwest League when it started in 1955 and the Emeralds stayed in the league until 1968.

The franchise moved up to the Class AAA Pacific Coast League from 1969-73 before returning to the Northwest League in 1974.

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A commemorative logo marks the Eugene Emeralds' 50th season.
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Title Annotation:Sports; The minor-league baseball team has been a Eugene mainstay since 1955
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Dec 18, 2003
Words:471
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