Sports Desk: John Traub gives update on Albuquerque Isotopes

Local Sports

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – In this edition of the “Sports Desk” we start with The Lost Season, a new segment that highlights high school seniors that missed out on their final season of high school athletics. This edition features St. Pius stand-out pitcher and Pepperdine University commit, Hayden Walker.

“This season meant a lot, just because we won last year and I believe that we could have repeated this year and went back to back, but I really think we had the chance to do it. We still had all of our pitching, so it was hard to lose that for us,” said Hayden Walker.

Walker was the NM Gatorade Baseball Player of the year in 2019 and St. Pius were also State Champions in 2019.

Sticking with baseball, Major League Baseball has not settled on a start date or even if they will have a 2020 season. This is hitting close to home because the Isotopes don’t have any idea if they will have a season since they depend on the MLB.

“You know, we are preparing right now, anywhere from zero to fifty games and we could play into September and October, which is later than we normally do, but everything is just up in the air right now and all of it is out of our control,” said Isotopes General Manager John Traub. “So, in the meantime, we are staying ready, we are working on a detailed facility operations manual, which will outline the new normal, I guess is what we are going to call it, in terms of how stadiums have to function in terms of social distancing, handling of cash or going touchless.”

The New Mexico Games have been around since 1989 and as of now, they might be canceled. The NM Games are currently on hold because of the pandemic and Executive Director Fred Hultberg is hoping they don’t have to cancel.

“I took over the games in 1991 and no, we have never had to cancel for anything, this is the first time. I mean, it’s really sad because we get a lot of the same people, basketball you know, out of the 200 something teams probably 150 of them were, you know played in it for that many years,” said Hultberg.

Hultberg hopes to get events going in June. “The first event to start would be racquetball on the 25yt to the 28th in midtown. BMX will be in July, and Tennis would be in July, but I don’t know if the city is going to let us, they are both city facilities and that’s my biggest problem right now, is that it’s hard to really do anything without knowing what the city and APS and the university are going to let you do,” said Hultberg.

Fred also says that this is his final year as director for the games. So, he really hopes that they start up this year and that the New Mexico Games keep going in the future. “I just can’t be doing it anymore. So, it’s going to be really disappointing for me if I do have to cancel the whole thing and I will probably know more in about two or three weeks,” said Hultberg. “I mean, I think they will have the games back here next year, but they are going to have to find a new director and a bunch of new board members, so it will be a task for whoever takes it over.”

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