An unparalleled atmosphere and a home run party mark the Mexico City series
MEXICO CITY — With this weekend’s two games between the Giants and Padres in Mexico City — the first Major League Baseball game in history to be played in the Federal District — MLB has now moved its schedule to Mexican soil six times during the regular season and a total of nine in Latin America.
Especially for Latin American players, the San Francisco and San Diego teams have a special responsibility to bring the best baseball to Latin America.
“It means a lot to us as Latin Americans,” Padres Dominican outfielder Fernando Tadis Jr. said of the series, a two-game sweep by San Diego. “To play in front of our people, the people who represent us, our culture, is a great pleasure.”
On the Padres, the Dominican influence was seen with Tadis Jr., Nelson Cruz, Manny Machado and Juan Jose Soto. On the Giants side, there was a strong Venezuelan flavor with Wilmer Flores and Tyro Estrada.
“It’s important that Latino fans, who are very good fans, get a chance to see a live game or the players they follow,” veteran Flores said. “It feels like home, right? You know how Latino fans are at sports. They make themselves feel at the game.”
Padres got a taste of the Mexican atmosphere through visits to Lucha Libera events, Mysterious King MasksPinatas in the clubhouse and hats to celebrate the many home runs.
“Beautiful. The experience has been amazing,” said Cruz, who was part of the Dominican Republic game in Santo Domingo during the 2020 season between the Tigers and Twins. “The fans, what we’ve experienced here as players will be unforgettable. It’s all for the good of the game, in this case us in Mexico.” I believe we bring the sport we love to Latin America, we encourage young people to practice it, and in this way, the sport continues to expand.
In addition to the one held at Alfredo Harp Helu, home of the Diablos Rojos del Mexico in the Mexican Baseball League, both the Giants and Padres held visits and clinics with minor league organizations in Mexico City, including a play ball program. MLB
“(It’s important) to bring the game to kids who don’t get to see it play in America,” Tadis Jr. said. “Playing against them here, it’s not just a dream for us, I think it’s a dream for all the kids and all the fans.”
It remains to be seen where and when it will be played again in Mexico or Latin America in a general sense. But the success of this Mexico City series and the success of previous years gives this type of event a promising future.
“As a Latino, I feel closer to where I belong. The fans treated us unbelievable,” said Estrada. “I found everything very good.
“I think this is an important step for Latinos. We hope that in the future it can happen in countries like Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Colombia. I think this is a very important event for Latino fans. We are very happy. We are very grateful to the Mexican fans. For the treatment they gave us every day. I think that’s what we’re going to take with us.”