Albuquerque Isotopes

The Albuquerque Isotopes are a Minor League Baseball team of the Pacific Coast League (PCL) and the Triple-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. They play home games at Rio Grande Credit Union Field at Isotopes Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at an elevation of 5,100 feet (1,555 m) above sea level.

Albuquerque Isotopes
Founded in 2003
Albuquerque, New Mexico
AlbuquerqueIsotopes.pngAlbuquerqueIsotopesCap.png
Team logoCap insignia
Minor league affiliations
ClassTriple-A (2003–present)
LeaguePacific Coast League (2003–present)
ConferencePacific Conference
DivisionSouthern Division
Major league affiliations
TeamColorado Rockies (2015–present)
Previous teams
Minor league titles
League titles (0)None
Division titles (3)
  • 2003
  • 2009
  • 2012
Team data
NicknameAlbuquerque Isotopes (2003–present)
ColorsBlack, red, white
              
MascotOrbit
BallparkRio Grande Credit Union Field at Isotopes Park (2003–present)
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Albuquerque Baseball Club
ManagerWarren Schaeffer[1]
General ManagerJohn Traub

In 2003, the Calgary Cannons moved from Alberta to Albuquerque and became the Isotopes. The team was affiliated with the Florida Marlins until 2008 and the Dodgers from 2009 to 2014. The team won division titles in 2003, 2009, and 2012; it has never won a league championship.

The Isotopes' mascot is Orbit, a yellow, orange, and red alien. In 2016, Forbes listed the team as the 14th-most valuable Minor League Baseball team with a value of $34 million.[2]

Name originsEdit

The team's name recalls the fictional 'Springfield Isotopes' from the long-running TV series The Simpsons, first appearing in the Season 2 episode "Dancin' Homer" (aired in 1990) in which the main character Homer Simpson temporarily becomes his local baseball team's mascot. In the episode "Hungry, Hungry Homer", which first aired on March 4, 2001, Homer attempts to thwart the team's plan to move to Albuquerque by going on a hunger strike. Subsequently, when the Albuquerque Tribune asked its online readers to help choose a new name for the Cannons, "Isotopes" received 67 percent of the 120,000 votes cast.[3]

Though team president Ken Young admitted that the name came from the series,[4] 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."[5] The "Isotopes" name was deemed appropriate, since New Mexico has a number of well-known scientific and 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 the site of the Trinity test. In addition, uranium mining was a significant industry in the state during the Cold War.

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 previous Albuquerque Dukes had sold in any single season,[6] and led minor league baseball in merchandising revenue in 2003.[7] 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.[6] The team has no working agreements with the rightsholders of The Simpsons.[8] However, statues of Homer, Bart, Lisa, and Marge Simpson (originally created as a promotional item for the 2007 film[9]) are located at RGCU Field at Isotopes Park.[10]

HistoryEdit

Albuquerque's previous minor-league team was the Los Angeles Dodgers-affiliated Albuquerque Dukes, which won several PCL championships in the 1970s and 1980s. The team was sold to Marshall Glickman and Mike Higgins, who moved it to Oregon in March 2000 and renamed it the Portland Beavers.

In January 2001, a group of businessmen led by Ken Young and Mike Koldyke agreed to buy the Calgary Cannons with the intention of bringing the team to Albuquerque for the 2003 season. But Young and Koldyke told the city of Albuquerque that they would only buy the team if the city would fund a new stadium or renovate the existing Albuquerque Sports Stadium. In May 2001, the city approved a vote to spend $25 million on a renovation. Ken Young and Mike Koldyke then bought the Cannons, moved to the team to Albuquerque, and renamed it the Isotopes.

The planned renovation eventually turned into the construction of a new baseball facility, Isotopes Park, around the old playing field.

The Isotopes played their first official game in Albuquerque on April 11, 2003, three years after the Dukes left for Portland. At Isotopes Park, the baseball team was greeted by over 12,000 fans in their opening day game. In the Isotopes' opening season, the baseball team saw over 575,000 fans enter their stadium to watch their newly acquired team perform. During the 2003 season, Albuquerque saw immediate success as their new team won the 2003 Central Division Title and in addition to that, entered the 2003 Pacific Coast League Playoffs.

In 2008, the Albuquerque Isotopes achieved a new feat when they reached a new franchise record in attendance with over 590,000 fans. [11]

In July 2009, Albuquerque received an unusual amount of nationwide attention following the arrival of Manny Ramirez. The outfielder at the time was under intense scrutiny for a suspension he received after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs, more commonly known as PEDs, and was slated to play a total of three games with the Albuquerque Isotopes before returning to the major league. The Albuquerque Isotopes ran multiple promotions for the arrival of Manny Ramirez including advertisements, wigs bearing an extreme similarity to the hair of Manny Ramirez, etc. which ultimately led to a then-attendance record with over 15,000 fans attending the outfielder's opening game with the Isotopes. In addition to this, there was a large amount of harsh criticism towards the team from numerous sports media outlets including ESPN and sports commentators such as Bob Costas.[12]

Season-by-season recordsEdit

Table key
League The team's final position in the league standings
Division The team's final position in the divisional standings
GB Games behind the team that finished in first place in the division that season
  Class champions
  League champions
§ Conference champions
* Division champions
Season-by-season records
Season League Regular season Postseason MLB affiliate Ref.
Record Win % League Division GB Record Win % Result
2003
*
PCL 74–70 .514 4th (tie) 1st 1–3 .250 Won American Conference Central Division title
Lost American Conference title vs. Nashville Sounds, 3–1[13]
Florida Marlins [14]
2004 PCL 67–77 .465 12th 4th 12 12 Florida Marlins [15]
2005 PCL 78–66 .542 5th 2nd 2 12 Florida Marlins [16]
2006 PCL 70–72 .493 10th 4th 14 Florida Marlins [17]
2007 PCL 72–70 .507 8th (tie) 2nd 2 Florida Marlins [18]
2008 PCL 68–75 .476 10th 2nd 7 12 Florida Marlins [19]
2009
*
PCL 80–64 .556 2nd 1st 0–3 .000 Won American Conference Southern Division title
Lost American Conference title vs. Memphis Redbirds, 3–0
Los Angeles Dodgers [20]
2010 PCL 72–71 .503 10th 2nd 1 Los Angeles Dodgers [21]
2011 PCL 70–74 .486 8th (tie) 2nd 17 Los Angeles Dodgers [22]
2012
*
PCL 80–64 .556 4th 1st 2–3 .400 Won American Conference Southern Division title
Lost American Conference title vs. Omaha Storm Chasers, 3–2
Los Angeles Dodgers [23]
2013 PCL 76–68 .528 6th (tie) 2nd 6 Los Angeles Dodgers [24]
2014 PCL 62–80 .437 14th 3rd 18 Los Angeles Dodgers [25]
2015 PCL 62–82 .431 14th 3rd 16 Colorado Rockies [26]
2016 PCL 71–72 .497 7th (tie) 2nd 2 Colorado Rockies [27]
2017 PCL 68–73 .482 10th (tie) 3rd 4 12 Colorado Rockies [28]
2018 PCL 63–77 .450 14th 4th 19 12 Colorado Rockies [29]
2019 PCL 60–80 .429 15th 4th 23 Colorado Rockies [30]
2020 PCL Season cancelled (COVID-19 pandemic)[31] Colorado Rockies [32]
Totals 1,193–1,235 .491 3–9 .250

RosterEdit

Albuquerque Isotopes roster
Players Coaches/Other

Pitchers

  • 51 Logan Cozart
  • 41 Nelson Gonzalez
  • 28 Evan Grills
  • 50 Heath Holder
  • 36 Ben Meyer
  • 33 Harrison Musgrave

Catchers

  • 12 Chris Rabago

Infielders

Outfielders

  •  6 Drew Weeks


Manager

  • -- Warren Schaeffer

Coaches


  7-day injured list
* On Colorado Rockies 40-man roster
# Rehab assignment
∞ Reserve list
‡ Restricted list
§ Suspended list
† Temporary inactive list
Roster updated February 7, 2020
Transactions
→ More rosters: MiLB • Pacific Coast League
Colorado Rockies minor league players

AwardsEdit

  • In 2014, Joc Pederson, after leading the league in OBP (.435), runs (106), home runs (33), walks (100), and OPS (1.017),[34] and setting Isotopes single-season records for walks and runs scored,[35] was voted the 2014 PCL Most Valuable Player, named to the post-season All-PCL team, and named the PCL Rookie of the Year, which is awarded to a player in his first year at the Triple-A level.[36][37][38] He was also selected to Baseball America's 2014 Minor League All-Star team.[39]

Notable broadcastersEdit

Cultural referencesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Isotopes Announce Warren Schaeffer as New Manager". MiLB.com. December 17, 2019. Retrieved April 12, 2020.
  2. ^ Klebnikov, Sergei (July 8, 2016). "Minor League Baseball's Most Valuable Teams – 14. Albuquerque Isotopes". Forbes. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  3. ^ "Doh! Go Isotopes!". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. May 13, 2003. p. C8.
  4. ^ Latta, Dennis (September 5, 2002). "Team President Throws Isotopes Name Into Play". Albuquerque Journal. Albuquerque Publishing Company. p. A1. Archived from the original on August 22, 2003. Retrieved June 11, 2007.
  5. ^ Oakey, Steve (September 12, 2002). "To Attract Homer, Isotopes Need to Have Duff on Draft". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Copley Press. p. D2. Retrieved June 11, 2007.(subscription required)
  6. ^ a b Latta, Dennis (December 15, 2002). "Isotopes Hit a Leadoff Homer at Cash Register". Albuquerque Journal. Albuquerque Publishing Company. p. D1. Archived from the original on March 7, 2016. Retrieved June 11, 2007.(subscription required)
  7. ^ Ruiz, Don (August 1, 2004). "In Search of Elusive Huntington Tapes". The News Tribune. p. C08. Retrieved June 11, 2007.(subscription required)
  8. ^ Latta, Dennis (February 1, 2003). "'Topes, Simpsons Aren't in the Mix". Albuquerque Journal. Albuquerque Publishing Company. p. D8. Archived from the original on January 25, 2013. Retrieved June 11, 2007.(subscription required)
  9. ^ https://www.milb.com/milb/news/from-celluloid-to-infield-with-the-isotopes/c-73836538
  10. ^ "Homer and Marge". Minor League Baseball. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  11. ^ "Albuquerque Baseball History | Albuquerque Isotopes News". Albuquerque Isotopes. Retrieved May 7, 2017.
  12. ^ Journal, Randy Harrison, Ken Sickenger of the. "Notable moments in Isotopes history". www.abqjournal.com. Retrieved May 7, 2017.
  13. ^ "Pacific Coast League Champions". Pacific Coast League. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  14. ^ "2003 Pacific Coast League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  15. ^ "2004 Pacific Coast League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  16. ^ "2005 Pacific Coast League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  17. ^ "2006 Pacific Coast League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  18. ^ "2007 Pacific Coast League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  19. ^ "2008 Pacific Coast League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  20. ^ "2009 Pacific Coast League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  21. ^ "2010 Pacific Coast League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  22. ^ "2011 Pacific Coast League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  23. ^ "2012 Pacific Coast League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  24. ^ "2013 Pacific Coast League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  25. ^ "2014 Pacific Coast League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  26. ^ "2015 Pacific Coast League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  27. ^ "2016 Pacific Coast League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  28. ^ "2017 Pacific Coast League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  29. ^ "2018 Pacific Coast League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  30. ^ "2019 Pacific Coast League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  31. ^ "2020 Minor League Baseball Season Shelved". Minor League Baseball. June 30, 2020. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  32. ^ "Isotopes Release 2020 Schedule". Minor League Baseball. October 10, 2019. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  33. ^ Hill, Benjamin (September 15, 2009). "Jones slugs way to Bauman Award: Home run crown, first big league action mark milestone season". MiLB.com. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
  34. ^ "2014 Pacific Coast League batting leaders". Baseball Reference.com. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
  35. ^ Dilbeck, Steve (August 28, 2014). "Dodgers prospect Joc Pederson, already PCL's top rookie, is named MVP". LA Times. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  36. ^ "2014 All-PCL Team Announced". milb.com. August 25, 2014. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  37. ^ "Joc Pederson Tabbed PCL Rookie of the Year". milb.com. August 26, 2014. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
  38. ^ "Pederson captures PCL's MVP Award". milb.com. August 28, 2014. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
  39. ^ Eddy, Matt (September 2, 2014). "Minor League All-Star Team 2014". Baseball America. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
  40. ^ Wild, Danny (December 3, 2013). "Isotopes pay tribute to 'Breaking Bad'". MiLB.com. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
  41. ^ "Catch Adam as Musical Advisor to Adam Levine". adamblackstone.com. Adam Blackstone. May 20, 2011. Retrieved February 7, 2012.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 35°04′12″N 106°37′44″W / 35.07°N 106.629°W / 35.07; -106.629