(May 19, 2016)—Baseball has always been a part of my life. My dad used to play softball with his buddies when I was young; and those summer nights watching him play and learning about the game are some of my favorite memories. We would sit in the parking lot after the games ; drink soda, eat popcorn and chat about the game.
Now, as an adult, it doesn’t feel like summer to me until I have gone to the stadium and enjoyed a game. Luckily, growing up in New Mexico we are lucky enough to always have had an incredible stadium here.
The original stadium where Isotopes Park now stands opened in 1969, and in 1972 we got the Albuquerque Dukes. Going to games in such a large park was awe inspiring to me as a young child. All of the sights, the sounds, the smells were all something I would never forget. The Dukes were a household name in Albuquerque for 28 years. However, the Dukes owner sold in 2000 and the stadium was soon torn down. Now in its place is Isotopes Park which was built in 2003.
There are nods to the old stadium; specifically the statue baseball that sits on the sidewalk outside of the park, but everything else is new. Now as you drive up to the Park you see the flashy sign calling to you from the street. As you walk into the Park it’s a beautiful view of the diamond, the seats, and the thousands of people who share your passion for the game. The smell of pizza and sweets hits your nose and fills you with nostalgia of your youth. There are no bad seats in the house, but a new personal favorite is actually the grass in outer field.
Here you can find families letting children run and play, while the parents supervise and enjoy the game. Here, there are rides and a carousel that let kids enjoy their time just as much as the adults. The team name might be different now, and the stadium might be a bit flashier than its predecessor, but the game within the walls is the same. In this park, you’ll never feel strange for singing take me out to the ballgame or Sweet Caroline (for old time’s sake). So even if you don’t care for the game of baseball, go enjoy the atmosphere and the food. Oh yeah, and a cold beer too. People say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but the baseball diamond is mine.