Albuquerque Dukes

by Mike Magers

2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Albuquerque Dukes baseball team, though the team has not been continuously in operation since 1915.  The team got its mascot’s name from from the nickname for Albuquerque, the Duke City, which in turn is derived from the early days of the city, dating back to when it was first founded by King Phillip of Spain.  Over the years, the baseball club has operated in the Class D, C and B minor league level as well as the Class A, AA and AAA level with affiliations in the Rio Grande, West Texas – New Mexico, Western Sophomore , Texas and Pacific Coast leagues and has had Major League affiliations with the New York Giants, Cincinnati Reds, Kansas City Athletics and Los Angeles Dodgers.  The team generally enjoyed strong support once it reached A, AA and AAA levels.

A number of well known players from the big leagues have suited up for the Dukes over the years, including Burt Hooton, Candy Maldonado, Davey Lopes, Mike Marshall, Mike Piazza, Pedro Martinez, Charley Hough, Tom Paciorek, Von Joshua, Ron Cey, John Wetteland, Raul Mondesi, Paul Konerko, Orel Hershiser, Erik Karros, Mike Maddux, Chan Ho Park, Dave Stewart, Mike Scioscia, Rick Sutcliffe, Fernando Valenzuela, Jose Vizcaino, Sid Bream, Rick Rhoden, Steve Sax, Greg Gagne, Eric Young, Jose Offerman, Todd Hollandsworth, Paul Lo Duca and Larry Hisle.  Many other big league players have played with the club during rehab assignments as they were recovering from injuries.

Likewise, a number of big league skippers have managed the Dukes including Mike Scioscia, Terry Collins, Rick Dempsey, Kevin Kennedy, Bill Russell, Del Crandall and Tommy Lasorda.

The club played its first games at the State Fairgrounds.  Later they moved on to Tingley Field (10 Atlantic Ave SW) and finally in 1969 to to the newly constructed Albuquerque Sports Stadium (demolished in 2001, but formerly located on Avenida Cesar Chavez).  They remained there until the team’s final season in 2000 after which the club was sold to owners who moved it to Portland, Oregon.  The rights to the club were sold to a party who still markets logo material.  A few years later, the Isotopes were relocated from Calgary, Canada and remain there today.

Below is a recap of the Dukes’ records each year they were in Albuquerque, courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.

Year
Won
Lost
Finish
Manager
Playoffs
1915
32
25
3rd
George Reed
League disbanded July 6
1942
25
30
Dixie Howell
(None, team withdrew June 23)
1946
55
85
6th
Jimmy Zinn
1947
74
64
3rd
Buck Fausett
Lost in 1st round
1948
88
52
1st
Hersh Martin
Lost in 1st round
1949
83
56
1st
Hersh Martin
League Champs
1950
89
58
2nd
Hersh Martin
League Champs
1951
82
60
2nd
Hersh Martin
Lost in 1st round
1952
77
65
2nd
Buck Fausett
Lost in 1st round
1953
87
55
1st
Tom Jordan
League Champs
1954
62
74
5th
Tom Jordan
1955
79
60
2nd
Eddie Bockman
Lost in 1st round
1956
59
81
7th
Bob Swift
1957
66
88
6th (t)
Nick Cullop (38-50) / Ron Shoop (2-3) / Hal Toso (26-23)
1958
71
75
5th
Jimmy Brown
1960
57
72
5th
Bert Thiel
1961
64
63
3rd
Grady Wilson
Lost League Finals
1962
70
70
3rd
Bobby Hofman
Lost in 1st round
1963
67
73
5th
Clay Bryant
1964
75
65
3rd
Clay Bryant
Lost in 1st round
1972
92
56
1st
Tommy Lasorda
League Champs
1973
62
82
8th
Stan Wasiak
1974
76
66
2nd
Stan Wasiak
Lost League Finals
1975
71
73
5th
Stan Wasiak
1976
66
78
6th
Stan Wasiak
1977
60
78
8th
James B. Williams
1978
78
62
2nd
Del Crandall
Co-Champs
1979
86
62
1st
Del Crandall
Lost in 1st round
1980
85
62
2nd
Del Crandall
League Champs
1981
94
38
1st
Del Crandall
League Champs
1982
85
58
1st
Del Crandall
League Champs
1983
85
58
2nd
Del Crandall (43-32) / Terry Collins (42-26)
Lost League Finals
1984
62
81
10th
Terry Collins
1985
67
76
6th
Terry Collins
1986
54
88
10th
Terry Collins
1987
77
65
3rd
Terry Collins
League Champs
1988
86
56
1st
Terry Collins
Lost in 1st round
1989
80
62
1st
Kevin Kennedy
Lost League Finals
1990
91
51
1st
Kevin Kennedy
League Champs
1991
80
58
1st
Kevin Kennedy
1992
65
78
8th
Bill Russell
1993
71
72
5th
Bill Russell
1994
83
56
1st
Rick Dempsey
League Champs
1995
75
69
5th
Rick Dempsey
1996
67
76
9th
Phil Regan
1997
62
79
8th
Glenn Hoffman
1998
61
82
13th
Glenn Hoffman (27-41) / Jon Debus (1-4) / Ron Roenicke (33-37)
1999
65
74
11th (t)
Mike Scioscia
2000
86
58
3rd
Tom Gamboa
Lost in 1st round
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