The Albuquerque Isotopes have received the Pacific Coast League's nomination for the 2012 Larry MacPhail Award, which goes to the organization that demonstrates the year's best promotional effort and is voted on by PCL Presidents and General Managers. This means the 'Topes are finalists for the national Larry MacPhail accolade, given to the team with the best promotions throughout Minor League Baseball, awarded at the Baseball Winter Meetings this December. This is the second time Albuquerque has earned the prestigious honor after taking the nomination following the 2010 campaign.
Once again, the Isotopes were near the top of the PCL in attendance in 2012, ranking third in the 16-team league and ninth out of 176 clubs throughout Minor League Baseball with 568,417 fans. Albuquerque's average of 8,120 fans per game also marked the 10th straight year the 'Topes eclipsed 8,000 fans per contest for a season, tribute to the team's excellent promotional and marketing efforts.
Celebrating the franchise's 10th season, Albuquerque got an early start, holding its first "Minor League Makeover," where the Isotopes' award-winning grounds crew renovated an area Little League field selected through voting on social media. Through three weeks of voting in late February and early March, over 13,865 votes were cast, with Belen Little League emerging as the winner. Other events held at Isotopes Park and promoted by the Isotopes throughout the year in addition to 'Topes baseball included the team's Job Fair and National Anthem Auditions / Open House, both of which were the biggest in team history, the annual NMAA High School Baseball state tournament, ALS Walk, four Blood Drives, a relief drive for New Mexico communities impacted by the summer's wild fires held in conjunction with the University of New Mexico football team, and the team's annual World Series party, where Season Ticket Holders can watch the third game of the World Series at Isotopes Park.
The 'Topes' 10th season celebration also included stellar promotions during the Isotopes' campaign, including a series of bobbleheads featuring popular player Jason Wood and the Green Chile from the El Pinto Chile Pepper Race, among others. Albuquerque also held a celebrity softball game, pitting cast members from the hit TV show Breaking Bad against a team of Wounded Warriors, which helped raise over $25,000 for the Wounded Warriors Amputee Softball team and the Disabled American Veterans Albuquerque chapter. The Isotopes' beloved mascot Orbit was also the landslide winner of Minor League Baseball's "Mascot Mania" contest, a 64-mascot tournament where the winner of each round was determined by on-line vote of fans worldwide. Albuquerque also honored the Eastdale Little League Softball World Series winners, held its annual Dukes Retro Night, including Hall of Fame induction ceremony, and conducted special recognition for all employees who had worked at Isotopes Park since the team's inception in 2003.
"We are so proud and humbled to be singled out by our fellow PCL clubs for this award for the second time in three years," said Isotopes General Manager John Traub. "Promotions are the lifeblood of Minor League Baseball, and the fact that we are again recipients of the prestigious Larry MacPhail nomination is testament to our standing within the baseball industry as well as indicative of the amazing support we receive from the Albuquerque community and beyond."
The Isotopes' 10th season was exceptional both on and off the field, but 2013 promises to be even better. Season tickets and Mini-Plans are on sale now at Isotopes Park. For more information, visit www.abqisotopes.com or call (505) 924-BALL.