Food-based team identities have been all the rage in minor league baseball promotions in recent years, and the Albuquerque Isotopes are the latest to join the fray. The ‘Topes will play as the Green Chile Cheeseburgers for one game later this season.
The chile, of course, is a staple of cuisine in New Mexico, where every meal is accompanied by the question, “Red or green?” (As in, What kind of chile do you want on whatever you’re eating?) The green chile cheeseburger is one of the signature concession items at Isotopes Park, which I can attest from personal experience is very good.
The logo and uniforms were designed by prolific design firm Brandiose.
Southwestern food items are at the center of the Isotopes’ origins. The team is named for a 2001 episode of The Simpsons in which Duff Beer, owner of the Springfield Isotopes, hatches a secret plan to move the team to Albuquerque. Homer catches wind of the plan and stages a hunger strike to expose it. Duff finally convinces Homer to end his hunger strike by offering him their newest menu item, an Isotope Dog Supreme, which comes loaded with mesquite grilled onions, jalapeño relish, and mango-lime salsa. Homer eyes the hot dog and exposes the plot to move the team to New Mexico, declaring, “That’s the kind of bold flavor they enjoy in Albuquerque!” (Bartender Moe then chimes in, “Yeah, and the wrapper says ‘Albuquerque Isotopes’!”)
There’s no mesquite grilled onions, jalapeño relish, or mango-lime salsa on the Green Chile Cheeseburgers logo, but Albuquerque’s distinctive southwestern flair has added a new flavor to the ongoing food wars in minor league baseball.
Speaking of which, it may not be by accident that the visiting team in Albuquerque that night will be the Fresno Grizzlies, whose alternate Fresno Tacos identity set the standard for food-based promotions.
The game will be played June 16 at Isotopes Park in Albuquerque.