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From BR Bullpen

  • Name: Hodgetown
  • GPS-able Address: 715 S Buchanan Street, Amarillo, TX 79101
  • Ballpark Owner: City of Amarillo
  • Architects: Populous
  • Groundbreaking: 2/1/2018
  • Minor League Baseball Teams: Amarillo Sod Poodles (AA) 2019-present
  • Class/League History: AA/Texas League 2022-present; AA/Double-A Central 2021; AA/Texas League 2019-2020
  • First Professional Baseball Game: 4/8/2019; stadium debut of Class AA Sod Poodles
  • Others Playing or Operating Here: Amarillo College Badgers
  • Previous Ballpark Names: None
  • LF: 325 CF: 400 RF: 325
  • Seats: 5,557
  • Stated Capacity: 7,421
  • House Baseball/Softball Record Attendance (as currently configured): 7,481, 7/3/2022

Hodgetown in Amarillo, TX, is the home of the Amarillo Sod Poodles, the Arizona Diamondbacks' Double-A Texas League farm team. The ballpark is named for former Mayor Jerry Hodge, who helped return affiliated ball to Amarillo, and for prairie dog towns - "sod poodles" being pioneer slang for the burrowing rodents.

It is also hosting Amarillo College baseball as the school resurrects varsity sports after nearly four decades. The Badgers started with three sports and four teams in 2023: baseball, women’s volleyball, and men’s and women’s cross country. AC has a three-year agreement to play its baseball games at "The Hodge"[1]. In at least the first season, there were no conflicting dates on the two teams' schedules.

The 2019 return of Double-A baseball to Amarillo was part of the Elmore Sports Group's simultaneous shift of three of its teams: the Double-A San Antonio Missions to Amarillo, the Triple-A Colorado Springs Sky Sox to San Antonio, TX, as the new San Antonio Missions, and the Rookie-Advanced Helena Brewers to Colorado Springs, CO, as the Rocky Mountain Vibes. Helena, MT, lost the game of musical chairs, leaving Kindrick Legion Field vacant.

Hodgetown has become known as a hitters' park - which is not surprising, given its altitude of well over 3,600 feet above sea level. Early in the 2023 campaign, this manifested in Poodles' back-to-back comebacks of first large and then epic proportions against the Frisco RoughRiders: on April 25th, Amarillo trailed 7-1 at the middle of the seventh inning but won 9-7; on April 26th, the deficit was 11-1 at the same point in the game but Amarillo won 12-11 in 10 innings.

As new as it is, The Hodge already needs a facelift: MLB's 2021 Minor League Reorganization greatly expanded existing standards for stadiums hosting affiliated teams, and Amarillo City Council voted on March 28, 2023, to authorize $4.5 million to fund the necessary upgrades. MLB's points-based requirements are phased in to the start of the 2025 season, and the work will start following the 2023 campaign.

The ballpark's walk-up view - both its structure and its sandstone coloring - evokes the false-front buildings of older western movies. Its home opener drew 7,175. Each Independence Day-celebrating game since then has brought a new house record - most recently 7,481 on July 3rd, 2022.

The new playpen lost the 2020 Texas League All-Star Game to the Coronavirus pandemic, and a commitment for the 2021 ASG died when MLB eliminated all of those in the minors at least that year. As of their 2023 campaigns, no affiliated leagues have resumed ASGs.

On August 10, 2022, at The Hodge, Chandler Redmond of the Springfield Cardinals accomplished Organized Baseball's second documented home run cycle. Visiting the Sod Poodles, Redmond hit four homers with all four possible runner combinations. Only Tyrone Horne of the Arkansas Travelers had ever done this before, and it has still never been done in the Majors. Interestingly, both times were by St. Louis Cardinals farmhands playing road games in the Texas League.

Famed U.S. Route 66 passes not far from Hodgetown. Its stretch within Amarillo includes the mile-long Route 66 Historic District on Sixth Avenue between Georgia and Western streets.

Related Sites[edit]

Current ballparks in the Texas League
North Division South Division
Arvest Ballpark | Dickey-Stephens Park | Hammons Field | ONEOK Field | Riverfront Stadium Hodgetown | Momentum Bank Ballpark | Nelson W. Wolff Municipal Stadium | Riders Field | Whataburger Field