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10 Reasons To Visit Isotopes Park That Have NOTHING To Do With Baseball

By ScottAbq 05/11/2015

Albuquerque News

For over a century, one of the most popular leisure-time activities in the country (and Albuquerque is no exception) has been the act of going out to the old ball game. Baseball has long been termed the ‘National Pastime’, and even though recent efforts have been made to speed up the game, the leisurely pace and serene atmosphere have always been appealing to Americans looking to enjoy themselves on a spring or summer evening. The game is always pretty much the same. Whether you are a fan of Little League, the Pros, or somewhere in-between, this sport is the ultimate experience for the nonchalant, patient spectator. 

But what if you’re not particularly fond of Baseball? What if you find it kind of boring and don’t really get all of the ins and outs? What if going to the old ball game just isn’t for you? Can an outing to the ballpark still be satisfying to the not-so-faithful fan? 

In the case of Albuquerque’s AAA Baseball team, the Isotopes, the answer is a resounding ‘Yes!’ During any given homestand at Isotopes Park, there are tons of things to make the experience overwhelmingly positive, even if you don’t give two knuckleballs about baseball. Here are my Top 10 Non-Baseball Reasons to Visit Isotopes Park!

10. People Watching

Whether you are looking to see pretty girls and buff dudes, or try not to stare at the enjoyable weirdness of some Albuquerqueians, a night out at ‘Topes Park will provide all you need! 

9. Ticket Deals

Even though going to the game won’t break your bank, for the more thrifty fan, there are plenty of deals that are available to take advantage of. PNM sends out a yearly coupon, Coca-Cola will get you 2 for 1 deals if you bring two 20oz. labels to the box office, and, of course, lawn seats (the berm) are always the best buy for your money. Same game, nice grass to sit upon. Other promotions are offered throughout the season, check the Isotopes Website for more info!

8. Orbit (The Mascot)

The beloved mascot of the Isotopes is the weird creature called Orbit. He can be seen at every home game, private appearances, and sometimes wandering around in mild confusion. A few years ago, he was also a finalist in a national competition that ranked the minor league mascots. Orbit is so awesome that he has a ballpark snack named after him… so after Orbit rounds the bases, he looks for a treat at #7… 

Orbit Doing His Thing!

Orbit is one of the best mascots in the minor leagues. For real.

7. The Orbit Dog

I’ve got to tell you, I’m a huge fan of unique dining options, and there is one at Isotopes Park that leaves all challengers in the dust. The Orbit Dog has quickly become one of my, and many ‘Topes fan’s, favorite guilty pleasure. It combines nearly everything that is quick and lovable about ballpark food into one delicious indulgence. But don’t take my word for it, here’s the description straight from the server’s mouth:

What is the Orbit Dog?

Straight from the folks who make and serve them, the description of the most decadent treat at Isotopes Park.

6. $.50 Hot Dog Night

Getting back to the 'deals' and the idea that the ballgame is the perfect place to let go and indulge a little, I have to put $.50 hot dog night on the list. Normally hot dogs are around four dollars at the ballgame, a price that would make any self-respecting consumer say, “What?” Sometimes that’s just the price we pay for a fun time; but not on $.50 Hot Dog night. Once you’re in the park, you can indulge on as many franks and buns as you can handle, and odds are you won’t spend more than ten dollars before you feel slightly ill.

5. Patriotism

Going to a baseball game is just an old-school, all-American thing to do. They always have the flags waving in center field, they sing the national anthem at the beginning of the game (at which time, all other activity stops), and, more than anything, you just get to hang out and cheer the home team with your fellow Americans. Nothing is more patriotic than that (except, maybe, you know, serving in the military or something).

4. The Kids, Rolling Down Hills, and Riding Rides

In that same vein, one of the best things about going to the baseball game is the camaraderie that takes place in the stands. The kids, even if they are not yours, are enthralled, there is discussion about the action on the field, there are security guards to make sure no punks get rowdy, and… of course… there is the wave. If you've never been involved in a ‘wave’ at a ballgame, perhaps you should re-evaluate your US citizenship. Once you are there, watching the kids rolling down hills and riding rides at Isotopes park is one of the major joys of the game. Located beyond the right field wall, there is a large grass hill where the kids can roll until their heart's content. Beyond that, there are rides. If the game does not keep your attention, one can seek out the pleasure of a mini amusement park. What could possibly be better than that?! 

3. The Simpsons

If you know the history of the Isotopes, you’ll know that the team concept started out as the local ball club on the long running Fox cartoon, The Simpsons. In a somewhat controversial move, the name was adopted when Albuquerque became host to a minor league club again. The team name used to be The Dukes, but when put to a vote, the Isotopes were chosen. The connection to The Simpsons was evident, but the fact that we have Sandia Labs in our community was also a factor. Now, statues of the character from The Simpsons can be seen (and photographed) throughout the park.

2. The On-Field Shenanigans

Between innings there are lots of fun times to be had! Orbit races youngsters, ingredients from a popular New Mexican food restaurant race each other, chickens are fired into the air, and inflatable horses are bounced upon! 

Bouncing on things`

Some of the best times at Isotopes Park are the in-between-innings-shenanigans!

1. Fireworks!!!!

Yup. Check the schedule. There isn't anyone in the world that doesn't love some good ol' fashioned fireworks. The Isotopes have them several times a summer! 

And that's it! There are so many reasons to go to the Isotopes that I'm kind of weirded out that you aren't there right now! See you at the Ball Game!