Albuquerque, Baseball, The Simpsons, what do these things all have in common? A really good story, and it’s all about how Albuquerque’s current Triple A Baseball team, the Albuquerque Isotopes, got their name from an episode of the Simpsons. How did this happen? Let me tell you…but first – for you baseball fans – here is the important info.
Albuquerque’s long time AAA team, the Albuquerque Dukes – named for the Duke of Albuquerque and the City’s nickname, The Duke City – were the farm team for the LA Dodgers. They left us in 2000 over disputes about the condition of the stadium, (which was in need of a serious upgrade), and other reasons. The City decided that in order to attract another team they has better renovate the stadium and they did a fine job on it; good enough to coax a new farm team, the Calgary Cannons – affiliates of the Florida Marlins team, to Albuquerque.
How did they become the Isotopes? The Albuquerque Tribune held a contest and the name, “Isotopes” won with write-in ballots. They are no longer a farm team of the Marlins, but instead the LA Dodgers again as of 2009. I guess they got what they wanted – it just took them 9 years. Love is forever.
If you would like to see an Isotopes game during your trip to Albuquerque, here is the site with the Isotopes Yearly Schedule. The stadium is only 5.8 miles from our Albuquerque Bed and Breakfast, and the map to get there is below. Let’s play ball with Homer…
Episode 15 of Season 12 of the Simpsons, was called Hungry, Hungry, Homer, and it first aired on March 4, 2001. The plot centered around Homer overhearing a conversation, seeing some incrimination evidence and discovering a secret – that Springfield’s beloved baseball team, the Isotopes, were leaving Springfield for Albuquerque, NM – but no one would believe him and the evidence disappeared.
Homer went on a hunger strike in hopes of exposing the plan, and he was chained to a pole in the baseball stadium getting thinner every day. Duff (BEER) Corporation, (their CEO is the team owner) is bored with Homer and decides to use him as an attraction and during a game. They unchain him and tempt him with hot dogs (now with a southwestern sauce!) Homer notices the sauce and that the hot dog wrappers have a new team name and logo – Albuquerque Isotopes. This was the evidence Homer had seen before, so the plot was finally revealed and Homer is the hero. As it turns out in the end, Albuquerque’s Mayor decides to acquire the Dallas Cowboys instead, and will make them play baseball. In the very last clip of the episode he declares his reason… ” because I AM THE MAYOR OF ALBUQUERQUE.”
This cracks me up because the Mayor of Albuquerque in 2001 was Martin Chavez, and he was thought of by many citizens of the Duke City to be a controlling egomaniac. I’m also amused that this episode ending was cut in all future reruns of the episode in America, but not in foreign countries.
Apparently, Burqueños love the Simpsons. Please come join us at the ballpark, but if you go to a game, and hear the call to cheer, don’t yell, “charge!” In Albuquerque we yell, “Marge!”
Here are directions to Isotopes Baseball Park
View Directions to Isotopes Baseball Park, Albuquerque in a larger map