Yakima Bears 2012 success comes as bittersweet - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima Bears 2012 success comes as bittersweet

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YAKIMA, Wash. --  Every home game is one step closer to the end, as the Yakima Bears get set to leave Washington. The best way to describe the 2012 Bears' season - bittersweet. 

"We've got a lot of great fans and team partners here and it's tough to disappoint them. So it's bittersweet from that perspective but from a business perspective we really don't have a choice," said K.L. Wombacher, Bears general manager.

Last month the Hillsboro, Oregon city council approved a 20 year contract to bring the Bears to town. After 23 years in Yakima, the Bears are on their way out.

"Whatever's possible for us to support the community we're here for them too. So if we have to sign autographs, we got to go give a baseball clinic for the kids, we will do that," said Audo Vicente, Bears manager.

The Bears are going out with a bang. Yakima won the first half of the Northwest League's East Division, which guarantees them a playoff spot and a chance at a title. The only other championship came back in 2000.

"It'd be exciting for the city, it'd be exciting for our staff, ownership. We've put so much into this over the years and to end the Yakima chapter with a championship would be fitting," Wombacher added.

"This city is really involved with the Bears. We learned that from like our host families. They're very involved and you know we always want to go out and play hard for them," third baseman Mark Ginther said.

Most Yakima Bears fans share the same sadness and disappointment the team is leaving. Even if the season ends with a championship, it will not fully take away the sting of the team's departure.