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The Albuquerque Isotopes are a minor league baseball team based in Albuquerque, New Mexicomarker. 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, Oregonmarker, as the Portland Beavers in 2001. The Isotopes began play in 2003 when the Calgary Cannons relocated to New Mexicomarker.

The Isotopes' mascot is Orbit, a big fuzzy electron.

Name origins

The fictional Springfield Isotopes from the long running TV series The Simpsons were 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." 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.

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 Laboratorymarker, Sandia National Laboratoriesmarker, and the Waste Isolation Pilot Projectmarker (WIPP), as well as hosting the Trinity testmarker.



Cultural references


  1. Hill, Benjamin, "Jones slugs way to Bauman Award: Home run crown, first big league action mark milestone season",, Sept. 15, 2009. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved 2009-09-22.

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