EL PASO, Texas - The Chihuahuas' regular season may end Sept. 1 but baseball will continue to be played at Southwest University Park later that month.
The El Paso Chihuahuas, in conjunction with Leg Up Entertainment and GECU, present the first-ever Mexican Baseball Fiesta to be held on Sept. 28 and 29 at Southwest University Park.
The fiesta will feature two teams - Los Naranjeros de Hermosillo and Los Tomateros de Culiacán - from the Pacific League of Mexico which is a part of the Mexican Winter League.
"It is an honor to have the opportunity to host teams from Mexico's own major leagues here in El Paso," said Alan Ledford, MountainStar President. "For the first time ever, fans will have the opportunity to see their favorite Mexican League players in their own backyard, and to experience the festive nature of a Hermosillo or Culiacan home game. We look forward to welcoming the players and fans from Mexico to Southwest University Park."
"We have believed all along that Southwest University Park is the most unique in Minor League Baseball with its stunning views of the United States and Mexico," said General Manager Brad Taylor. "It is only fitting we host an international event by welcoming two Mexican Pacific League teams to play here."
The Fiesta will include an atmosphere that has music, food, and entertainment.
Chihuahuas season seat holders will have the first opportunity to buy their season seats and buy additional tickets for the Mexican Baseball Fiesta beginning today, July 25t. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Aug. 1.
Prices start at $5.
Fans can buy tickets at EPChihuahuas.com or in person at the Durango or Santa Fe Box Offices. The box office is open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturdays 10- a.m.-4 p.m.
The Mexican Baseball Fiesta debuted in Tucscon in 2011 as a four team tournament.
The Fiesta has grown throughout Arizona, Northen Mexico and Texas.
This year's action will include exhibition games in six cities and run through October, prior to the start of the season.
"For those not familiar with Mexican Winter League baseball, it's as popular as the MLB is to us, if not more so," said Mike Feder, President of Mexican Baseball Fiesta, LLC and Senior Advisor to the El Paso Chihuahuas.
"Fans follow their teams with such fierce loyalty and pass the love of the game on from generation to generation. It's not uncommon to see three or four generations of family enjoying a game together. El Paso will be the perfect addition to our regional lineup."
The Pacific League of Mexico was founded in 1945 and plays from October through February. The champion of the league, also referred to as the Winter League of Mexico, plays in the Caribbean World Series, a title taken home by the Naranjeros in February of this year.
Naranjeros de Hermosillo
Los Naranjeros are based in the Capital of Sonora. Los Naranjeros de Hermosillo are one of the most successful teams in the Mexican Pacific League, having won 16 league titles and are the recent winners of the Caribbean Series title, their second in league history. In 1976, they became the first Mexican team to win the Caribbean Series. Former Hermosillo players include Curt Schilling, Larry Walker, Fernando Valenzuela, Erubiel Durazo and Vinny Castilla.
Tomateros de Culiacan
Los Tomateros are one of the most popular teams in the Mexican Pacific League. They have won nine Mexican Pacific League Championships, most recently in 2004. In that same year they went on to win the Caribbean Series with a lineup that featured several Major League players including Ramiro Pena, current second baseman for the Atlanta Braves. Other players include Rodrigo Lopez, Oliver Perez, Luis Ayala, Jose Silva and Benji Gil.