Founded in 2003
Albuquerque, New Mexico
|Minor league affiliations|
|League||Pacific Coast League|
|Major league affiliations|
|Current||Los Angeles Dodgers (2009–Present)|
|Previous||Florida Marlins (2003–2008)|
|Minor league titles|
|Division titles||2003, 2009, 2012|
|Nickname||Albuquerque Isotopes (2003–Present)|
Calgary Cannons (1985–2002)
|Ballpark||Isotopes Park (2003–Present)|
|Albuquerque Baseball Club, LLC|
|General manager||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. In 2012, Forbes ranked the Isotopes as the fourth most valuable franchise in Minor League Baseball.
The Isotopes' mascot is Orbit, a yellow, orange, and red alien.
The fictional Springfield Isotopes from the long running TV series The Simpsons was the influence for the new name of the team. In the episode "Hungry, Hungry Homer", main character Homer Simpson attempts to thwart the team's plan to move to Albuquerque by going on a hunger strike. Subsequently, when an Albuquerque Tribune online survey helped the team decide its new name, "Isotopes" received 67 percent of the 120,000 votes.
Though team president Ken Young admitted that the name came from the series, 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." The "Isotopes" name is 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 Trinity test.
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, and led minor league baseball in merchandising revenue in 2003. 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. However, statues of Homer, Bart, Lisa, and Marge Simpson can be seen at Isotopes Park.
Albuquerque Isotopes roster
- Bob Socci, 2003-2006
- Russ Langer 1996-2000, former Montreal Expos and Baltimore Orioles fill-in broadcaster
- In September 2009, Mitch Jones was named the winner of the Joe Bauman Home Run Award, for the most home runs, 35, in minor league baseball.
- In the USA Network series In Plain Sight, the character Raphael Ramirez (Cristian de la Fuente) plays for the Isotopes.
- In the AMC series Breaking Bad, which is set in Albuquerque, Walter White can be seen wearing an Isotopes hat.
- In the NBC series The Voice, music producer Adam Blackstone wore an Albuquerque Isotopes hat during Season One Battle Rounds preparations.
- "How Billionaires Like Warren Buffett Profit From Minor League Baseball Ownership " Forbes. Retrieved on 6 June 2012.
- "Doh! Go Isotopes!". Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Hearst Corporation). May 13, 2003. p. C8.
- Latta, Dennis (September 5, 2002). "Team President Throws Isotopes Name Into Play". Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque Publishing Company). p. A1. Archived from the original on 2003-08-22. Retrieved June 11, 2007.
- 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)
- Latta, Dennis (December 15, 2002). "Isotopes Hit a Leadoff Homer at Cash Register". Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque Publishing Company). p. D1. Retrieved June 11, 2007.(subscription required)
- Ruiz, Don (August 1, 2004). "In Search of Elusive Huntington Tapes". The News Tribune (The McClatchy Company). p. C08. Retrieved June 11, 2007.(subscription required)
- Latta, Dennis (February 1, 2003). "'Topes, Simpsons Aren't in the Mix". Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque Publishing Company). p. D8. Retrieved June 11, 2007.(subscription required)
- "Albuquerque Isotopes/Isotopes Park/Homer and Marge". Minor League Baseball. Retrieved February 7, 2011.
- 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.
- "Catch Adam as Musical Advisor to Adam Levine". adamblackstone.com. Adam Blackstone. May 20, 2011. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
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