A beloved team in the Duke City and beyond, the Albuquerque Isotopes is the AAA affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. In 2003, the minor-league team took the place of the Albuquerque Dukes—and you’ll still see fans wearing that team’s logo at the stadium. The intimate stadium is one of the nicest in minor-league baseball, with great restaurants, a specialty craft brew, and a grass area perfect for families to picnic during games. An episode of The Simpsons inspired the team’s name; it comes from an episode in which Homer goes on a hunger strike to protest his Springfield Isotopes relocating to Albuquerque.
Of course, with the state’s connection to nuclear history and Sandia National Labs in town, the name fits well. The team’s mascot, Orbit, is a fan favorite, too—even if no one can figure out just what kind of animal the adorable mutation is.