The Amarillo Sod Poodles today announced that they have entered into a ballpark naming-rights partnership, renaming the home of the Sod Poodles “Hodgetown”.
The brand “Hodgetown” encapsulates the idea of a common place for the community to gather from all areas throughout the Texas Panhandle. The new ballpark name recognizes and gives thanks to Jerry Hodge who led the charge in helping bring professional, affiliated baseball back to the community. The ending of the name ties in the Prairie Dog roots with “town”, defined as a colony of burrows connecting to form one large community.
Hodge, who was recently named as the 2018 Amarillo Globe-News Man of the Year, is a family-man, pharmacist, businessman, civic leader, philanthropist, and resident of Amarillo for over 60 years.
“We approached Jerry with this name because he shares the common interest of positively impacting our community and has proven so over the last 50 years,” said Tony Ensor, President and General Manager of the Amarillo Sod Poodles. “This community, spearheaded by Jerry, had a dream of bringing not just baseball, but professional, affiliated baseball back to Amarillo and now that it has been brought to life, there is no better way to honor and recognize his hard work to make the dream come true than by including Jerry’s name on our new home.”
“When President & General Manager, Tony Ensor, first presented this name to us several months ago, Margaret and I were extremely surprised and also somewhat apprehensive,” said Jerry Hodge. “But Tony made an excellent presentation and case for the name with his unyielding passion toward this ballpark and this community. We are very pleased and honored for our entire family!”
At the age of 23, Hodge purchased Maxor Drug, which was located in the downtown Fisk Building, and transformed it into Maxor National Pharmacy Services, a company that currently employs 450 people in Amarillo and 663 persons nationwide. At the age of 34, he was elected as the youngest Mayor of Amarillo. Hodge also played a vital role in establishing the Texas Tech School of Pharmacy in Amarillo, served on the Texas Board of Criminal Justice, and was instrumental in reshaping the historical Amarillo Club for future success as its doors were about to close after operating since 1947.
The naming rights partnership will include countless promotional and community affiliations throughout the Panhandle. With Hodge and other founding partners, the team recently created the “Champions for Charity” program, which supports local charities with in-kind donations.
Hodgetown, located in the heart of downtown Amarillo, opens in early April as the newest sports and entertainment destination in Amarillo, with state-of-the-art facilities and an unprecedented commitment to quality and service. It will feature a full range of programming that includes professional and affiliated baseball as well as events like high school and college games, concerts, themed events, and much more. The venue will play host and bring guests from all around the nation to downtown Amarillo annually.
The Sod Poodles will open the 2019 campaign on Thursday, April 4 at Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi where they will square off against the Corpus Christi Hooks (Houston Astros) for the first of four games. Following the series, the Sod Poodles will come back to Amarillo for their inaugural home opener at Hodgetown on Monday, April 8 against the Midland RockHounds (Oakland Athletics) for a three-game set. First pitch for the home opener is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
(Press Release from Amarillo Sod Poodles)