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Longtime Isotopes executive LoBue dies

Nick LoBue, shown at Isotopes Park during the franchise’s inaugural season of 2003, died Friday in Albuquerque. He had been an executive with the club even before it came to town. (Journal File)

Nick LoBue, one of the first employees hired by the Albuquerque Isotopes and whose friendly face was a fixture at Isotopes Park since the team’s inception, has died.

LoBue died Friday morning of complications from COVID-19 in a downtown Albuquerque hospital.

The Rio Rancho resident was 71.

 

LoBue was the vice president of corporate development for the Isotopes and had been an executive with the club since the summer of 2002, the year before the team arrived in town and played its first game under that nickname.

“Nick was really part of the backbone of our organization,” said an emotional Isotopes general manager John Traub. “He was such an integral part of the foundation of who we became, and such a big part of the reason for our success. He loved the Isotopes more than words can even describe.”

LoBue previously had served as the team’s assistant general manager.

LoBue was originally hired by the Isotopes as director of sales and marketing in the summer of 2002. In fact, he was the first major administrative hire for the team’s ownership group.

“He really had a tremendous amount of pride in what we meant, for what we came to mean to this community,” said Traub. “Not only did he care deeply about the organization, but he cared deeply about individuals and their families. Family always came first for him.”

To that end, Traub said, LoBue was a valuable human resource in the club’s front office.

“Probably his biggest role within the organization was to be there as a mentor, as a sounding board, as somebody who could give sage advice, both personally and professionally,” Traub said.

Before he joined the Isotopes staff, LoBue was a former general manager of the New Mexico Scorpions hockey club and a former manager of what was then known as Blades Icoplex in Rio Rancho. His familiarity with the market was a large part of what made him an attractive hire for the new baseball team.

The Chicago native, an avid fan of the White Sox and Bears, moved to the metro area in 1992. He had been hospitalized since last weekend before passing away on Friday.

Services for LoBue are pending. He leaves behind a wife, Judy; three children — Lisa, Lauren and Andrew; and six grandchildren.

“He talked about this for years, that he wanted to take the family to Italy and show them where his family was from,” Traub said. “He did that in the summer of 2019, and I’m so pleased he was able to do that.”

Of his own relationship with LoBue, Traub described him as a “brother to me.”

“Our backgrounds were very different, and we were different types of people, but we could say anything to one another. One thing we told each other a lot is how much we loved each other. … If he cared about you, he cared about you. He had a profound impact on so many people in this community. He was a friend, he was a father figure, he was an uncle. So many people called him ‘Uncle Nicky.'”

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