Ken Young, Nick LoBue and John Traub were often the last ones out of the park in those early days of Isotopes baseball in Albuquerque.
Getting the franchise up and running, of course, took long hours and plenty of work. And there were more than a few times that trio — Young, the franchise’s managing partner; LoBue, the longtime Vice President of Corporate Development until he passed away last year; and Traub, the General Manager who has guided the day-to-day operations for nearly two decades now — could be leaving a game having not actually watched much of the action on the field over the previous several hours.
Luckily, they had some help.
“This is a memory as clear as yesterday,” Young said. “At the end of the night, Joey (Traub, John’s son who Young says was probably around 7 years old at the time) would come downstairs from the press box where he would help with stats or notes or whatever it was. I always left with John. We were the last ones to leave, along with Nick. And as we walked out, Joey would rehash the game. And he talked about play after play. Honestly, it took me back a little bit to when I was 12 years old and I’d come home from Connie Mack Stadium and I talked to my father about the game. That was a Phillies game, of course, but Joey was so into the ‘Topes games.”
That passion and meticulous approach to the game shown early on by Joey Traub — err, Joe Traub now that the 23-year-old college graduate is making his own name and working this season as a communications associate with the Isotopes — has stuck through the years.
And the reason why hardly surprises anyone around the organization who recall seeing his dad — knowingly or not — planting those seeds from an early age.
“We called him Isotopes Team Historian Joe Traub,” recalls Robert Portnoy, who was the Isotopes radio play-by-play broadcaster for seven seasons from 2006-2012. “His father is very detail oriented, and it trickles down to the entire staff. The influence on Joe was evident.
“Joe had an incredible memory for detail, a gift with numbers, and he was very intuitive. He’d have recall of specific score, inning, situation, base runners, count, etc., from plays in previous games and historic games that was uncanny. I loved having him in the booth with me watching the game when he could, because he’d have relevant stats and notes for me all the time.”
After having already worked for three other baseball organizations — duties ranging from public relations, media relations, broadcasting and other game-day duties with the Ogden (Utah) Raptors, Port Angeles (Washington) Lefties and the Biloxi (Mississippi) Shuckers — not to mention working with the student newspaper and the athletic department at Weber State University in Utah before graduating in 2019, Joe Traub is now officially employed by the Isotopes for the first time.
And while everyone with the organization ultimately answers to John Traub, Joe’s direct supervisor, Isotopes Director of Public Relations Kevin Collins, says both have made his being “in the middle of a Traub Oreo” as professional as can be.
In fact, Collins says Joe Traub’s being a part of extended Isotopes work family started even before this season.
“We were at the winter meetings in San Diego in 2019,” Collins recalled. “Joey was there as a job seeker and John took out the whole staff for dinner, and Joey tagged along. We ordered a round of shots. I don’t know if Joey had a lot of experience with shots before that, but John was teaching him on the fly.
“It was really cool. It was a life lesson, I guess.”
Joe Traub continues to learn the ropes — the ‘Topes ropes — from his dad.