Last week, I was in Albuquerque, New Mexico. My brother in law asked me if I wanted to go to an Albuquerque Isotopes baseball game. The Isotopes are the AAA farm club of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Pacific Coast league. At first, I thought it wouldn't be that much fun, but I recalled some previous years when I had watched the Toledo Mudhens play, so I took a chance.
Only a week or two prior to my visit, Manny Ramirez had a rehab assignment in A,buquerque and they sold out every game. Well, fortunately for me Manny was back with the big club, so I got to watch the Oklahoma City Redhawks play the Isotopes. The Redhawks are the farm club of the Texas Rangers...
One thing I have to tell you from the beginning is that the stadium only seats about 15,000, but it is a very picturesque ball park. There are mountains in the background, and an ammusement park behind the right field picnic area, and the weather was perfect. We had great seats behind the 3rd base dugout, and paid 11 bucks a piece. Now, I also remember when I watched to Toledo Mudhens back in the early 90s and some of the best seats in the house were only 5 or 6 bucks. It was entertaining, and besides, watching a ballgame at tiger stadium was very painful all around.
Anyway, the night we went, they had Albuquerque Dukes throwback night, and they brought back some of the old players from the 1972 Dukes...this team was amazing and went 92-56 and won the league. They were managed by none other than Dodger Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda. Some of the notable major leaguers on this team were, Ron Cey, Joe Ferguson, Larry Hisle, Charlie Hough, Davey Lopes, Tom Paciorek and Rick Rhoden, just to name a few. It was an impressive list of players who played for the Dodgers and other MLB teams throughout the 70s and 80s.
Tom Paciorek was on hand for the ceremony and since he is a broadcaster for the White Sox, he was pretty impressive. I have alittle better appreciation for him after that night. You know, when you are in a small stadium, everything seems so close, and the players are right there. We had a great time, and the Redhawks beat the Isotopes/Dukes 6-2.
Now, I know it's not majot league baseball, but i can tell you one thing...it's baseball, it's fun and a great place to take kids to see a game. Some of the players on the field last week, are probably going to be major league players, so if you get a chance and you're near a AAA or lower minor league city, give it a shot and see a game...I think you'll be glad you did. Besides, it's cheap and it won't break your budget to take the whole family.
Enjoy...and talk to you all again soon.