November 3, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Pro Baseball in Santa Fe? Huh?

"...an independent professional baseball team is on the verge of calling Santa Fe home"

By José Smith

The Beans & Chile

José Smith is a writer, stay-at-home dad and fiend of excellent essays.

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For as long as I can remember we’ve been going to Albuquerque. Burque! I’m sure that I could tabulate the small, but still mentionable, percentage of my life spent traveling between Santa Fe and Albuquerque, north and south, on I-25. In fact, days after my son was born in 2008, the first moments he spent completely alone with his nerve-racked mother and I were on I-25, as I surgically maneuvered my way onto the Interstate, the most careful and delicate drive of my life. He’s been back to Albuquerque many times since then, for numerous reasons, tallying his own odometer of life spent on I-25.

The truth is, when you’ve been born and raised in Santa Fe, you become conditioned to the reality (as I’ve grown older I tend to debate this) that there’s simply nada to do in the City Different. It’s always seemed to be the general consensus that if you want to do something different, you go to Albuquerque. I mean, before the Internet morphed all of us into constant travelers of the cyberspace (giving us the impression that we’re everywhere at once), one would have to admit that, while the basic necessities of life could be attained in Santa Fe, if one wanted to do some real shopping, dining, entertaining, or for the lucky ones, leaving, one had to go to Albuquerque.

I’ve been told by students I teach that things haven’t changed, that Santa Feans are still flocking to Albuquerque in search of something to do. While I’d never want to downplay all the truly significant reasons that I believe Santa Fe is a unique, worthy, and genuinely fun city to explore, I also can’t deny the fact that living here for any decent length of time renders one to the at-least partial reality that this city can be a downright snooze. Not to say there’s anything wrong with snoozing, which is why Santa Fe is a great retirement city, but honestly, for the still-working, or raising-children, or teen and twenty-something crowd, something's gotta give.
 

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In fact, that something Santa Fe could use, in the form of an independent professional baseball team, is on the verge of calling Santa Fe home. Meet the Santa Fe Mountain Lions, complete with their own website: santafe.pecosleague.com. They will call Fort Marcy their home fleld. Actually, maybe they will. Currently, the issue of selling beer at Fort Marcy could be the deal-breaker. The city council is supposed to vote next week on whether to amend a city ordinance that prohibits the selling of alcohol on city-owned property. There are many in favor of the amendment. There are many naysayers too. Mostly though, there are probably a lot of Santa Feans who have no idea about this team or this impending vote.

I don’t know if Fort Marcy is the ideal location. Certainly there are issues; beer, parking, traffic, noise, etc. But for now, Fort Marcy is all we’ve got, and I’d hate to see Santa Fe lose this opportunity. My vote: figure this shit out! I’m not the type of parent to make my son play a certain sport, so baseball just might not be this thing. But I am the type of parent who’d enjoy sitting with my son under the stars on a glorious  summer night, cracking sunflower seeds, reminiscing about days when I played baseball on Fort Marcy Field. I just hope I won’t have to do that down in Albuquerque, watching the Isotopes, having logged even more miles on I-25.

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