ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – While the 2022 season officially began last week, the Isotopes’ first home game will take place on Tuesday night. Here are some things to look out for as the ‘Topes return to Rio Grande Credit Union Field against the Tacoma Rainiers.

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Local Connections

There are a few players (and a coach) with ties to the Land of Enchantment. D.J. Peterson (#25) played his college ball at UNM and is in his first year with the Isotopes. L.J. Hatch is another player who played collegiately in New Mexico, however, he played down in Las Cruces with the Aggies. Hatch has had multiple stints with the Isotopes during his journey through the minor leagues. Both Peterson and Hatch are instructed by hitting coach Jordan Pacheco. The former La Cueva and UNM baseball player has retired as a player and is now in his first year as a coach with the ‘Topes. Former Lobo Sam Haggerty will be in uniform, however in the Tacoma dugout.

Major League Players

Obviously, the goal for players going through the minor league system is to hopefully get the call up to the big league someday. Well, some of the players on the current roster have already received that call and for one reason or another are in AAA at the moment. As it stands, seven players — Ben Bowden, Ryan Feltner, Julian Fernandez, Helcris Olivarez, Elehuris Montero, Colton Welker and Ryan Vilade — are on the Rockies 40-man roster. There are also seven additional players — J.D. Hammer, Zach Lee, Zach Neal, Dillon Overton, Carlos Perez, Tim Lopez, and Scott Schebler — who have MLB experience with a combined nine teams.

New Food

Last week, the Isotopes unveiled new concessions items coming for the 2022 season. The new menu items consist of a BBQ sandwich, a green chile Philly sandwich, and various Chicago-style dogs made of different meats.

The Field

Rio Grande Credit Union Field often produces picturesque sunset views with a backdrop of the Sandia mountains. New Mexico United has already played a few matches this season on the surface, and the new grounds crew have been working to get the field to the standard that fans expect.

Opening Night Festivities

The Isotopes’ home opener against the Tacoma Rainiers is scheduled to begin at 6:35. Gates will open at 5:30 with the first 2,000 fans receiving a fleece Orbit blanket. Former Albuquerque Mayor Jim Baca will be throwing the ceremonial first pitch to current Mayor Tim Keller. The club is also expecting the ten-millionth fan to walk through the gates sometime this week.