Founded in 2003
Albuquerque, New Mexico
|Minor league affiliations|
|League||Pacific Coast League|
|Major league affiliations|
|Current||Colorado Rockies (2015–present)|
|Previous||Los Angeles Dodgers (2009–2014)
Florida Marlins (2003–2008)
|Minor league titles|
|Division titles (3)||
|Nickname||Albuquerque Isotopes (2003–present)|
|Calgary Cannons (1985–2002)
Salt Lake City Gulls (1971–1984)
|Colors||Black, red, orange, yellow, silver
|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 Colorado Rockies. The team was affiliated with the Florida Marlins from 2003–2008 and the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2009–2014. Albuquerque was 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 2016, Forbes listed the Isotopes as the 14th-most valuable Minor League Baseball team with a value of $34 million.
The team's name recalls the fictional Springfield Isotopes from the long running TV series The Simpsons. In the episode "Hungry, Hungry Homer", which first aired on March 4, 2001, main character Homer Simpson 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% of the 120,000 votes cast.
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 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 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
- Mike Roberts, Long time (1966–2013) Albuquerque sports announcer on TV and radio for local news, professional baseball, college football & basketball, and high school sports broadcasts
- 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 2014, Joc Pederson, after leading the league in OBP (.435), runs (106), home runs (33), walks (100), and OPS (1.017), and setting Isotopes single-season records for walks and runs scored, 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 AAA level. He was also selected to Baseball America's 2014 Minor League All-Star team.
- In the USA Network series In Plain Sight, the character Raphael Ramirez (Cristián 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.
- In the FOX series The Simpsons, Homer Simpson protests against machinations of the owner of the local baseball team to secretly relocate his franchise, the Springfield Isotopes, to Albuquerque.
- Klebnikov, Sergei (July 8, 2016). "Minor League Baseball's Most Valuable Teams – 14. Albuquerque Isotopes". Forbes. Retrieved September 23, 2016.
- "Doh! Go Isotopes!". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 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 August 22, 2003. 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. 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.
- "2014 Pacific Coast League batting leaders". Baseball Reference.com. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
- Dilbeck, Steve (August 28, 2014). "Dodgers prospect Joc Pederson, already PCL's top rookie, is named MVP". LA Times. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
- "2014 All-PCL Team Announced". milb.com. August 25, 2014. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
- "Joc Pederson Tabbed PCL Rookie of the Year". milb.com. August 26, 2014. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
- "Pederson captures PCL's MVP Award". milb.com. August 28, 2014. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
- Eddy, Matt (September 2, 2014). "Minor League All-Star Team 2014". Baseball America. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
- Wild, Danny (December 3, 2013). "Isotopes pay tribute to 'Breaking Bad'". MiLB.com. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
- "Catch Adam as Musical Advisor to Adam Levine". adamblackstone.com. Adam Blackstone. May 20, 2011. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
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