Isotopes Park, Derek's Dugout, and a baseball day.

So we decided that on a sunny August day in New Mexico, it was quite all right to light out for the diamond territory and watch the Isotopes play the Tacoma Rainiers.
There's our view as we walk from the parking lot to the ball park.
Since the Isotopes are the Triple A team for the Dodgers, there's plenty of Dodgeriana(?) around to remind you.
Loosening up before the game.
There were several extra cameras on the field before the game and in the stands during the game. Morgan Spurlock ("Supersize Me") was filming portions of his current project, "The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special! In 3D! On Ice!" in which he will explore the cultural impact that the Springfield animated family has had on America. That must be why they kept playing Simpsons theme song bits during the game and showing the Simpsons on the Jumbotron:They even showed a clip from the show of a baseball hit into the stands and knocking out a fan, which is an odd thing to find funny right now, what with the current lawsuit. As for the lurking camerapeople, I have no idea if this was one of the documentarians:

but we thought he looked a little bit like a madman, and we mean that in a good way, so he made the cut.

Spurlock's special will be aired on Thursday, January 14, 2010 on FOX. Tune in, maybe you'll catch a glimpse of we weird New Mexicans wackily I don't know, eating a hot dog or something.

I was walking back to our seats from saying hello to Kris (more below) when I stopped and took pictures of the national anthem scenario. Is that wrong? I did remove my sun hat and eventually stood all still and respectful.

This game wasn't as exciting as many others we've seen at Isotopes Park, but it was good. And fun. And the Isotopes won. We've never been to a game they lost!
We enjoyed watching Dodger Doug Mientkewicz (the pronouncer said Ment KEY Witz), who hit a double and a triple. Here is a shot of him in his Dodger duds:
And here's a typical between-inning moment at a 'Topes game:

Orbit seems to have passed out. A.J. Ellis was fun to watch, also. He has more walks (253) than strikeouts (234) in 438 minor league games and he had a .436 on-base percentage in 2008 with Las Vegas. He says on the Isotopes website, "I have always taken a lot of pride in not striking out. It is something that I hate most of anything in baseball, just that feeling of walking back from home plate to the dugout. As a catcher you do have a little bit more awareness of the strike zone not only in general but on that particular day because I am working with the umpire and can see what he is calling or not."

Thought you might like a couple of shots of the major blue skies that we always have to contend with. The mountains in the distance are one of the many reasons it's good to sit on the third base line at Isotopes Park.
Various goofballs in the parking lot.

The ball park is quite pretty. Here's a link that nicely covers the history of the place.

It was also fun after the game to stop at Derek's Dugout, a baseball card store we're lucky to be able to visit now and then (worth the lengthy drive from Santa Fe). We've talked about Derek and his store before. It's an "Is this heaven?" kind of baseball card shop...cool, clean, well-stocked with new and vintage, and run by a knowledgable, gentlemanly, and witty fellow who is determined to Make It Work. We're quite sure that if you are ever passing through Albuquerque, you will not regret a stop there. We'll show the items we picked up in our next post.

Actually, what with I Love This Game (check his site for more photos from today), Derek, and none other than the abovementioned Kris of Cards in the Attic fame in this town, there's an embarassment of baseball card riches in the land of enchantment. It's fun to meet with Kris even for a few minutes before the game, as we did today, because he's so darned pleasant.
Best of all, Lucy got Kris's and Derek's autographs. No offense to Alex Cintron, a nice fellow who also signed that card (#13), but it was Kris and Derek who received Lucy's highly sought-after and rarely bestowed "All Star" designation. We hope that you occasionally get to visit a ballpark near you to enjoy the unique enjoyment that baseball well-played can bestow on busy souls.

A.J. Ellis photo: Sports Illustrated.


AlbuqwirkE said...

Ha! That videographer was my favorite from the crew today too.

I really enjoyed the entire Tacoma series as it provided a swell opportunity to see a BUNCH of ex-Isotopes playing again.

Great seeing you and Lucy out at the park! Possibly see you again during the playoffs...

Doc said...

Ah, Santa Fe & Albuquerque. I'd live there in a heartbeat. If only I could land a job there.

MattR said...

Nice post. Day games are great!

Motherscratcher said...

Great post. It makes me want to hop on a plane to New Mexico. Just a great looking park there.

Carl Crawford Cards said...

Nice, sounds like you had a full day! Very jealous you have baseball down there.

Were you able to break into the Simpson's documentary?

dc said...

AlbE, that fellow would make a believe Simpsons character himself.
Doc, yes...the work situation is challenging. Best bet: your own business.
MattR, why are there so few day games? Why.
MScratcher, you and your family would be welcome guests. SF is one of the nicest places on earth. shhhh.
CCC, we did not crack the docu because for once we weren't weird enough.