On the Road: Albuquerque's ballpark mayor

Isotopes' Keefner known for grounds crew work, love of dancing

James Keefner, 27, is the unofficial mayor of Isotopes Park. He's been attending games with his family for the past decade.

By Benjamin Hill | July 22, 2019 10:21 AM ET

James Keefner, a special needs Albuquerque Isotopes fan, is known as the ballpark mayor. He sings, dances, socializes and works for the grounds crew.

Benjamin Hill is a reporter for MiLB.com and writes Ben's Biz Blog. Follow Ben on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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On the Road: Syracuse celebrates State Fair

Mets salute central New York, take field as the Butter Sculptures

The Triple-A Syracuse Butter Sculptures, inspired by the New York State Fair, debuted on July 13. (Rick Nelson/MiLB.com)

By Benjamin Hill | July 18, 2019 10:41 AM ET

When Ben Hill visited the Syracuse Mets on July 13, they took the field as the Butter Sculptures. It was all part of a New York State Fair celebration.

Benjamin Hill is a reporter for MiLB.com and writes Ben's Biz Blog. Follow Ben on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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Designated Eater: Prairie 'Dogs' in Amarillo

Trevor Wyatt samples Sod Poodles' intriguing hot dog triumvirate

At the Amarillo Sod Poodles' home of HODGETOWN, one can enjoy a breakfast-themed Sunrise Dog while the sun sets.

By Benjamin Hill | July 17, 2019 12:39 PM ET

When Ben Hill visited the Amarillo Sod Poodles, Trevor Wyatt was his Designated Eater. Frankfurter delicacies included the breakfast-themed Sunrise Dog.

Benjamin Hill is a reporter for MiLB.com and writes Ben's Biz Blog. Follow Ben on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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Topps Pro Debut 2019: Ben's Biz returns

Annual insert set celebrates fans, ballparks, mascots, celery

For the third consecutive season, Topps' Pro Debut features a Ben's Biz insert set. Ben is very proud of the 2019 edition. (Daniel Wild)

By Benjamin Hill | July 16, 2019 2:39 PM ET

2019's Topps Pro Debut once again includes a Ben's Biz insert set. In this post, Ben takes a look at the people, places and vegetables he chose this year.

Benjamin Hill is a reporter for MiLB.com and writes Ben's Biz Blog. Follow Ben on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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On the Road: Before Sod Poodles, Gold Sox

A look back at an earlier era of Amarillo's Texas League history

Mike Higgins, who once worked for the Amarillo Gold Sox at Potter County Memorial Stadium (inset), gives a thumbs-up to HODGETOWN.

By Benjamin Hill | July 15, 2019 10:41 AM ET

Thirty-seven years before the Sod Poodles, Amarillo hosted a Texas League team called the Gold Sox. Ben Hill spoke with Mike Higgins, the team's former PR director.

Benjamin Hill is a reporter for MiLB.com and writes Ben's Biz Blog. Follow Ben on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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A five-star evening for 'Helen McGuckin'

RiverDogs dedicate night to unimpressed internet reviewer

The Charleston RiverDogs' Helen McGuckin Night was motivated by a two-star Google Review. (Emma Dau/Charleston RiverDogs)

By Benjamin Hill | July 11, 2019 10:33 AM ET

Last year, the Charleston RiverDogs received a poor online review from a woman named Helen McGuckin. On July 9, they tried their best to change her mind.

Benjamin Hill is a reporter for MiLB.com and writes Ben's Biz Blog. Follow Ben on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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On the Road: No straight path for Flores

Amarillo's fielding coach went from indy ball to softball and back

After a long and unpredictable baseball journey, Freddy Flores is serving as fielding coach for the Amarillo Sod Poodles (Ben Jenkins)

By Benjamin Hill | July 8, 2019 9:55 AM ET

It took until he was 45, but Freddy Flores is now in the affiliated ranks. Ben Hill spoke with the Amarillo coach about his long, unpredictable baseball journey.

Benjamin Hill is a reporter for MiLB.com and writes Ben's Biz Blog. Follow Ben on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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On the Road: The Sod Poodles' Anthem

Amarillo songwriter Carson Leverett scores with prairie dog tune

Carson Leverett, author of the "Sod Poodles Anthem," as seen during a mid-day visit to Amarillo's HODGETOWN ballpark.

By Benjamin Hill | July 4, 2019 10:24 AM ET

Songwriter Carson Leverett hit big with his "Sod Poodles Anthem," a tribute to Amarillo's new Minor League team. Ben Hill explains how it all came about.

Benjamin Hill is a reporter for MiLB.com and writes Ben's Biz Blog. Follow Ben on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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On the Road: Ed Montana comes around

Amarillo mainstay details his journey to Sod Poodles acceptance

Ed Montana, veteran country music musician and rodeo emcee, serves as public address announcer for the Amarillo Sod Poodles.

By Benjamin Hill | July 1, 2019 12:12 PM ET

Ed Montana, Amarillo Sod Poodles' PA announcer, initially wasn't a fan of the team's name. Ben Hill details Ed's journey to acceptance and, even, love.

Benjamin Hill is a reporter for MiLB.com and writes Ben's Biz Blog. Follow Ben on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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On the Road: Welcome to HODGETOWN

An exploration of the Amarillo Sod Poodles' new home

HODGETOWN, home of the Amarillo Sod Poodles, features a grandiose art deco-inspired facade.

By Benjamin Hill | June 27, 2019 10:57 AM ET

In June, Ben Hill visited the Amarillo Sod Poodles' HODGETOWN home. Now, he offers a tour of an intimate, prairie dog-centric baseball environment.

Benjamin Hill is a reporter for MiLB.com and writes Ben's Biz Blog. Follow Ben on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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