Former 'Tope Visits Troops In Iraq

In his two seasons as an Isotope (2007-08), catcher John Baker established himself as not only a great backstop, but also a selfless contributor to the community, frequently visitng hospitals and schools throughout Albuquerque.  One visit Baker always looked forward to was to the VA Hospital in town, where he relished the opportunity to thank the men and women who have served the country so bravely.  

This winter Baker, now the starting catcher for the Florida Marlins, was part of a group of players that went to Kuwait and Iraq to visit U.S. troops serving there, in what must have been an amazing experience. 

Baker has a full re-cap with pictures on his website:  It’s a fascinating re-telling of his experience with the troops and definitely worth checking out.  Of course, if you want to follow Baker on Twitter, go to

You can also click here for a video of the trip. 

All of us at the Isotopes are extremely proud of not only Baker’s on the field accomplishments, but also his continued dedication to helping others off of it!  Frankly, knowing what kind of guy Baker is, we’re not particularly surprised by either.   Attaway Bake!! 

In other former Isotope/great guy news, closer Joe Nelson has signed a Minor League contract with an invite to Spring Training with the Boston Red Sox. Last season, Nelson started the year with Tampa, appearing in 42 games before finishing the season wtih Triple-A Durham. While his stint in 2008 with the Isotopes was brief, it was notable.  In 19 games, Nelson racked up 11 saves before quickly getting the call to Florida, where he finished the season going 3-1 with a 2.00 ERA in 59 games.     


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