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Founded 64 years ago in 1955 as a charter member of the Northwest League, the Emeralds were named in a contest, won in January by eleven-year-old Bowen Blair. They won the inaugural pennant as an independent, and remained in the NWL for 14 seasons, through 1968. The Emeralds were the first minor-league team to play in Eugene since the disbanding of the Eugene Larks, who played at Bethel Park for just two seasons, 1950 and 1951.
The Emeralds played in northwest Eugene in 4,000-seat Bethel Park, at Roosevelt Boulevard and Maple Street (44°03?52?N123°08?43?W / 44.0644°N 123.1454°W / 44.0644; -123.1454), later torn down for the construction of a highway that wasn't built. In 1950 and 1951, Bethel Park was the home of the Eugene Larks of the Class DFar West League; its outfield is present-day Lark Park. Its final game in 1968 on August 29 drew 897 fans for a one-hitter and a 7-0 Emeralds win. The NWL changed to a short season league in 1966, and that season opened in Eugene against the Lewiston Broncs. The second pick in the 1966 MLB draft, future hall of famerReggie Jackson played his first professional games at Bethel Park, as a 20-year-old center fielder, following his sophomore season at Arizona State. Hitless in the opener, the next game he got his first pro hit, a single in the first, and later a home run to right field in the ninth.
As a Triple A team in 1969, the Emeralds moved from Bethel Park to Civic Stadium. The 6,800-seat facility was owned by the Eugene School District and was built in 1938 as a venue for high school football, which was played there until 1968. Civic Stadium also hosted semi-pro baseball teams, sponsored by local timber companies, until Bethel Park was built in 1950. Facing an outdated stadium and high-maintenance costs, in 2010 the Eugene Emeralds moved into PK Park, the new baseball stadium across town that was built by the University of Oregon. The Emeralds new home, PK Park, is adjacent to Autzen Stadium and near the Willamette River. They share the new facility with the Oregon Ducks collegiate baseball team, whose regular season ends in May. This left an antiquated Civic Stadium without any active tenants. A vacant Civic Stadium was destroyed by fire in 2015.
A new logo, based upon Sasquatch, was adopted by the Emeralds in 2012. In 2013, the Emeralds partnered with Voodoo Doughnut to offer a bacon maple bratwurst as a specialty food item. Following the 2014 season, the Emeralds switched from being an affiliate of the San Diego Padres to the Chicago Cubs, who signed Eugene to a two-year deal through 2016. The player development contract was extended through the 2018 season on June 14, 2016.
The Emeralds won the 2018 Northwest League title despite finishing 31-45 and last in the overall standings. They clinched a wild card playoff spot with a 17-21 record in the second half, second behind Hillsboro, who had finished first in both halves. The Emeralds proceeded to sweep both Hillsboro and Spokane in the postseason en route to the title. Dubbed the "Bad News Ems," the .408 regular season winning percentage was the worst ever for a Northwest League Champion.
1974: Defeated Bellingham 2-1 to win league championship.
1975: Defeated Portland 2-0 to win league championship.