Weaver: Discovering a hidden baseball treasure in Madrid, New Mexico

From Levi Weaver at The Athletic on January 15, 2019:

The juniper trees huddle under​ a thin​ dusting of new​ snow, and​ the two-lane road​ southwest​ of​​ Santa Fe does its best to lean out of sight, first to the left, then to the right, then to the left again. The sway sway sway repeats as it pulls you past a prison, then a horse hospital, then into the desert’s rhythm as the drive becomes a waltz set to a phantom saloon piano and a plaintive harmonica, awakening the west measure-by-measure until it is old again and young again. The cars seem a modern anachronism, their engines thundering with too many horses to allow their drivers to inhale the faint ghosts of a thousand campfires and hardened faces and rifles kept near.

And then, just when you wonder if you might be disappearing into a Coen brothers movie, the Turquoise Trail sways to the left, slows your dance, looks you square in the eye, slowly reaches into a coal mine and reveals… a diamond.

Nestled in the foothills of the Ortiz Mountains — roughly one-third of the way from Santa Fe to Albuquerque — Madrid, New Mexico is a living storybook of coal mining, ghosts, legends of Walt Disney, Thomas Edison, the Manhattan Project, World War II, progress, abandonment, revitalization, hippies, art, and small-town America. But at the center of just about all of it, there is baseball.

Read the full article here (subscription required): https://theathletic.com/756090/2019/01/15/miner-leagues-discovering-a-hidden-baseball-treasure-in-madrid-new-mexico/

Originally published: January 15, 2019. Last Updated: January 15, 2019.