The City of Amarillo is no stranger to baseball affiliations. The town’s history with the sport begins in 1923 with the first minor baseball league in which Amarillo’s division acquired the mascot/name the “Grassers”. During the Great Depression, the minor league team continued on, but Amarillo never saw itself represented at the professional level. The league joined the WT-NM League in 1939 under the name the “Gold Sox”. They played in the league until it ceased operations due to World War II.
In 2011, the Pensicola Pelicans transferred to the Panhandle and changed their name to the Amarillo Sox. They underwent another name change in 2014 and were then known as the Amarillo Thunderheads. After the 2015 baseball season, the team merged with the Texas AirHogs in Grand Prairie, TX and the Amarillo circuit was disbanded. This did not signify the death of baseball in Amarillo though.
HODGETOWN Stadium was opened in 2019 with the Amarillo Sod Poodle’s in the Double-A baseball league. This happened after the San Antonio Missions relocated to Amarillo following the Triple-A Colorado Springs Sky Sox’s relocation to San Antonio. The Sod Poodle name was voted on by residents through a social media campaign. Other names in the running included Jerky, Bronc Busters, Boot Scooters, and Long Haulers. The people of Amarillo were bewildered by the outrageous names they had picked as the finalists for the community to vote on, but ended up going with Sod Poodles.Sod Poodles refers to the native prairie dogs in the area.
Carson Leverett, wrote and recorded a song in reference to the new name given to the baseball team. This song was first made as a joke, but today it is the “Sod Poodles Anthem” and can be heard at every Sod Poodles game held at HODGETOWN Stadium. You can visit the stadium in downtown Amarillo at 701 S. Buchanan Street, Amarillo, Texas, 79101.
HODGETOWN is in fact spelled out in all capital letters as an “exclamation point” to the name of the ballpark according to the Major League Baseball webpage dedicated to the stadium. The name of the tunnels prairie dogs live in is called a town hence the “town” part of HODGETOWN. The first part, “hodge”, is a tribute to Jerry Hodge, a prominent man in the financial pulling together of funds to support the team moving to Amarillo.
The stadium lies across 9.3 acres of land next to the Amarillo City Hall and the Amarillo Civic Center Complex. The property was previously home to the Coca-Cola bottling plant that was located in the city. With a seating capacity of 6,631, it can accommodate large numbers of people. Families enjoy bringing their children in which they can entertain them at the “Kids Zone”. This area of the ballpark features a playground surrounded by grassy acreage where people unfold blankets to lounge while observing the game.
If you get hungry or thirsty while visiting, there are plenty of tasty options to indulge in. A hot dog cart called “Hot Diggity Dog” offers some interesting bites and the Dickey’s Barbeque storefront has some mouth water treats. You can also grab an alcoholic beverage if you are of age at the 352 Bar or the Fairly Group Club Level Bar.
Click here to view another article.
Map from HODGETOWN Stadium to Lighthouse Funeral and Cremation Services
Map from HODGETOWN Stadium to Amarillo Museum of Art (AMoA)