'Total Eclipse of the Park' a hit with fans of baseball and scie - KPTV - FOX 12

Total Solar Eclipse

'Total Eclipse of the Park' a hit with fans of baseball and science

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It was breakfast, a ball game and a blackout in Keizer Monday morning when America’s pastime met the Great American Eclipse at Volcanoes Stadium.

The 'Total Eclipse of the Park' was directly in the path of totality as the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes and the Hillsboro Hops played a half inning before calling a timeout and becoming the first-ever professional sporting event to be delayed by a solar eclipse.

There was major league fun on the minor league diamond, and Volcanoes co-owner Jerry Walker said the special event broke attendance records.

“This is a historic day,” he said. “It's the biggest event we've ever had at Volcanoes Stadium since we opened the stadium 20 years ago.”

Some traveled from as far away as Germany and Japan, with baseball lifers and science lovers uniting as one for the once in a lifetime celestial event.

“I looked at the date this morning on my phone and I said, 'I can't it! Monday, August 21st, 2017. It's finally here!’” NASA educator Molly Wasser said.

The excitement wasn’t only for those in the stands. The players were also awed by the one in a lifetime event.

“I haven't ever really experience anything like it,” Hops first baseman Pavin Smith said. “You kind of don't even think it's real.”

Fans from around the country and around the world made it to the unique sporting matchup, with some visiting from just up the road and others from hundreds of miles away. Despite those differences in distance, everyone in the ballpark was awed by the celestial site.

“Words fail, really, just to describe that last half-percent when it went into full, total eclipse,” Hillsboro Mayor Steve Callaway said.

“The corona was much brighter, even with the naked eye,” Phoenix, Arizona resident Richard Lustiger added. “It was the first one I had seen and it was outstanding.”

The game will live on in the memory of the fans in Keizer as well as Cooperstown. The game balls from both first pitches, pre- and post-eclipse delay, are now on their way to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Team officials said that visitors from 34 states and seven countries were at the game.

Besides the actual eclipse, the only dark spot was the final score for the home team, as the Volcanoes fell to the Hops 9 – 5.

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