Albuquerque Isotopes

Albuquerque Isotopes

MiLB infobox
name = Albuquerque Isotopes
founded = 2003
city = Albuquerque, New Mexico
misc =

class level = Triple-A (2003–present)
past class level=
current league = Pacific Coast League
conference = American Conference
division = South Division
past league =
majorleague = Los Angeles Dodgers (2009–future)
pastmajorleague = Florida Marlins (2003–2008)
uniform =
nickname = Albuquerque Isotopes (2003–present)
pastnames = Calgary Cannons (1985–2002)
*Salt Lake City Gulls (1971–1984)
ballpark = Isotopes Park (2003–present)
pastparks =
leaguechamps =
divisionchamps = 2003
misc6 =
owner = Albuquerque Baseball Club, LLC
manager = Dean Treanor
gm = John Traub
The Albuquerque Isotopes are a minor league baseball team based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The team, which plays in the Pacific Coast League, is the Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Albuquerque was previously represented in the PCL as a Dodgers' affiliate by the Albuquerque Dukes, who won several PCL championships in the 1970s and 1980s before relocating to Portland, Oregon as the Portland Beavers in 2001. The Isotopes began play in 2003 when the Calgary Cannons relocated to New Mexico.

After the Dukes relocated, the city of Albuquerque demolished most of the team's home, Albuquerque Sports Stadium, but kept the playing field intact. The city then built a completely new, state-of-the-art stadium around the existing field. The new venue opened in 2003 as Isotopes Park. One of the major features of Albuquerque Sports Stadium was its drive-in area, where spectators could sit in their cars past the left-field fence and watch the games. The renovation of the stadium originally included keeping the drive-in area, but Isotopes management decided to close it due to security concerns and has converted it into a play area for children. Isotopes Park also features a hill in center field, similar to the one in the Houston Astros' stadium, Minute Maid Park. Since its opening, Isotopes Park has routinely been ranked among the top five minor league ballparks in the nation. Albuquerque fans seem to agree, as the team has set attendance records in the last two years.

The Isotopes' mascot is Orbit, a big fuzzy electron.

Name origins

The fictional Springfield Isotopes from the long running TV series "The Simpsons" were the influence for the new name of the team. In the episode "Hungry Hungry Homer", Homer Simpson attempts to thwart the team's plan to move to Albuquerque. Subsequently, when an "Albuquerque Tribune" online survey helped the team decide its new name, "Isotopes" received 67 percent of the 120,000 votes. [cite news
title = Doh! Go Isotopes!
work = Seattle Post-Intelligencer
publisher = Hearst Corporation
page = C8
date = 2003-05-13
accessdate =2007-06-11

Though team president Ken Young admitted that the name came from the series, [cite news
first = Dennis
last = Latta
title = Team President Throws Isotopes Name Into Play
work = Albuquerque Journal
publisher = Albuquerque Publishing Company
page = A1
date = 2002-09-05
accessdate = 2007-06-11
] he said at the name's unveiling, "We picked it because over the past year it has become a popular name, and it does have something to do with Albuquerque." [cite news
first = Steve
last = Oakey
title = To Attract Homer, Isotopes Need to Have Duff on Draft
work = The San Diego Union-Tribune
publisher = Copley Press
page = D2
date = 2002-09-12
accessdate = 2007-06-11
] In the three months after the team's name was announced in September 2002, before the team ever took the field, the team sold more merchandise than the Albuquerque Dukes, sold in any single season,cite news
first = Dennis
last = Latta
title = Isotopes Hit a Leadoff Homer at Cash Register
work = Albuquerque Journal
publisher = Albuquerque Publishing Company
page = D1
date = 2002-12-15
accessdate = 2007-06-11
] and led minor league baseball in merchandising revenue in 2003. [cite news
first = Don
last = Ruiz
title = In Search of Elusive Huntington Tapes
work = The News Tribune
publisher = The McClatchy Company
page = C08
date = 2004-08-01
accessdate = 2007-06-11
] The team said they were able to tell when episodes featuring the Springfield Isotopes would air in different markets based on clusters of orders from different viewing areas. The team has no working agreements with the Fox Broadcasting Company or "The Simpsons". [cite news
first = Dennis
last = Latta
title = 'Topes, Simpsons Aren't in the Mix
work = Albuquerque Journal
publisher = Albuquerque Publishing Company
page = D8
date = 2003-02-01
accessdate = 2007-06-11

The "Isotopes" name is semi-appropriate, since New Mexico has a number of well-known scientific/military facilities dealing with nuclear technology, such as Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, and the Waste Isolation Pilot Project (WIPP), as well as hosting the first nuclear weapons test, the Trinity test.


Cultural references

In the USA Network series "In Plain Sight", the character Raphael Ramirez (Cristian de la Fuente) plays for the Isotopes.


External links

* [ Official Albuquerque Isotopes website]
* [ Albuquerque Isotopes fan website]

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