Sunday, August 3, 2014

Albuquerque Isotopes

After a stint in the New Mexico mountains I have landed in Albuquerque, home of Breaking Bad and some mean breaking balls at Isotopes Park. Not to be confused with the Springfield Isotopes of The Simpsons fame. This AAA farm club of the Dodgers sports power and speed that would make Walter White proud.

After an arroyo misadventure that included goat head burrs, a dry river channel, a dog, a fall and a likely broken finger I was ready for some baseball. Isotopes Park is on the fringes of downtown Albuquerque and across the street football field (that’s the pointy ball). The approach walkway is adorned with a circular stack of gigantic baseball bats and the structure itself has a section of colored glass windows reminiscent of mid-century modern architecture. The park has clean lines, a hi-def scoreboard, a tiered outfield berm for GA seating and a double decked grandstand. The pale browns of the textured and smooth block add to a futuristic southwestern look. Think Buck Rogers meets Lone Ranger.

Bun-it was fresh but slightly dry.
Taste-the ‘topes made a smart choice by going with Hebrew National. Minus ½ point due to the room temperature of the dog.
Toppings-super selection! Everything a dog lover could want including green chilies to add a local flair.
Price-at $4.25 with those toppings you can’t complain….at least not too loudly.
Portability-the dreaded cardboard boat.
It Factor-you have not lived until you have had a Lasorda dog. Tommy would approve.

Location-near downtown.
Access-walkable from the Nob Hill area and University of New Mexico.
GA Ticket Price-$7 for a grass berm is nearly a great deal….$5 is better.
Cleanliness-one of the cleanest parks yet.
Fans-large and fun crowd.
Ambiance-while not a retro park, Albuquerque got it right. It reminds me of the new Twins’ park but on a smaller scale.

DogBallparkTotal Dog/Game
Portability3GA Ticket Price4.5
It Factor5Fans5

Dodger farm clubs are usually well stocked and Albuquerque is no exception. It also has geography in its favor. While Florida is teeming with minor league action, a large swath of the United States surrounding Albuquerque is devoid of MLB affiliated baseball (there is the local Pecos League). That means fans from afar come to the Duke City to get their Heisenberg on and jeer at batters hitting below their sub-atomic weight and yell at the visiting team: “SAY MY NAME!”

The book that will chronicle the fantastical road trip that this blog covers is now 40% funded via Kickstarter cloud funding. You can be part of history and help bring "Gone to the Dogs" to print by visiting my kickstarter page. At least watch the video and see how handsome I am.

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