Ruckus goes to Austin: Texas legislators welcome the Amarillo Sod Poodles

Left to Right: House Representative John Smithee, Tony Ensor, RUCKUS, Jerry Hodge, Mayor Ginger Nelson
House representatives John Smithee (R-Amarillo) and Four Price (R-Amarillo) and Senator Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo) today introduced resolutions respectively to welcome the Amarillo Sod Poodles Baseball team prior to their historic inaugural home opener and celebrate the return of affiliated, professional baseball to Amarillo for the first time in 37 years.

"We couldn't be more proud to be honored by the State of Texas House of Representatives and Senators," said Sod Poodles President and General Manager Tony Ensor. "Today was about recognition for the City of Amarillo, our community and this incredible team we have that calls Amarillo home. It was a memorable moment shared at the state capitol with Mayor Ginger Nelson, Jerry and Margaret Hodge, Cheryl Fairly, Lynn Ensor, team members Shane Philipps and Jacob Helmus, and our beloved mascot Ruckus."

A summary of the text of the resolution is as follows:

"WHEREAS, Amarillo residents are celebrating the return of affiliated minor league baseball to the city after a 37-year absence as the Sod Poodles ball club makes its debut in April 2019; and

WHEREAS, The new Double-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres, the Sod Poodles are the first Texas League team to call the city home since 1982, when the Amarillo Gold Sox completed a seven-year run, also as part of the Padres organization; and

WHEREAS, After launching their 2019 season at Corpus Christi on April 4, the Sod Poodles will christen their home ballpark, Hodgetown, during their April 8 home opener against the Midland RockHounds; located in downtown Amarillo, Hodgetown is a state-of-the-art baseball facility named for Jerry Hodge, who has played a leading role in getting the team established in the city;

and WHEREAS, The Sod Poodles take their name from the term that Panhandle pioneers gave to prairie dogs, and the mascot was selected from more than 3,000 proposals in the franchise 's "Name the Team" contest; the quick-draw and cowboy-hat-tipping Sod Poodle depicted on two of the official team logos illustrates Amarillo 's can-do spirit and hospitality; moreover, the club 's colors of Amarillo Yellow, Texas Red and Blue, and Route 66 Retro Blue symbolize the proud history of the region and the Lone Star State; the team is already generating such excitement among local residents that there has been a call to make the Sod Poodle the state's unofficial Herbivorous Burrowing Rodent; and

WHEREAS, The return of affiliated minor league baseball to Amarillo marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the community, and it is indeed a pleasure to join all those associated with the Amarillo Sod Poodles in commemorating this momentous occasion…" 

It was resolved that both the House of Representatives and Senators of the 86th Texas Legislature congratulated the Amarillo Sod Poodles on their inaugural 2019 season and extended to the team's players, coaches, and staff sincere best wishes for success this year and in seasons to come.

The Sod Poodles will host their inaugural home opener Monday, April 8 against the Midland RockHounds (Oakland Athletics). First pitch for the home opener is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.