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The Daily Wildcat

89° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Mexican baseball comes back this weekend

Mexican baseball returns to Tucson this weekend for the Fourth Annual Vamos a Tucson Mexican Baseball Fiesta. The top teams in the Mexican Pacific League will be playing a preseason exhibition at Kino Sports Complex from today to Sunday.

Each day, there will be a double header with matchups from the Naranjeros de Hermosillo, Tomateros de Culiacan, Yaquis de Obregon and Mayos de Navajoa. There will also be top prospects from the Los Angeles Dodgers and Kansas City Royals organizations playing for their Future Stars teams.

Former UA third baseman and third-round pick for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Brandon Dixon, will make his Tucson minor league debut tonight. He will play for the Dodgers Future Stars Team against the Naranjeros de Hermosillo.

Tucson native Alex Verdugo, who was on the original roster to play for the Dodgers Future Stars Team will not play this weekend.

Mexican Baseball Fiesta partner Jack Donovan said the baseball games will be like no other baseball experience.

“The word fiesta describes it all,” Donovan said. “Expect to go to a party and a baseball game will show up. It is a cultural experience like no other; we do it like they do it in Mexico.” Since the first exhibition in Tucson in 2011, the Mexican Baseball Fiesta has become incredibly successful. The fiesta has grown and now has pre-season exhibition games in Phoenix; Nogales, Ariz.; El Paso, Texas; Agua Prieta, Mexico; Cananea, Mexico, and Magdalena, Sonora, Mexico, as well as Tucson.

Former Tucson Padres General Manager and current President of the Mexican Baseball Fiesta, Mike Feder, said the success of the baseball fiesta is due to the prominent Hispanic community in Tucson, as well as the great successes of the Mexican League teams.

“There are generations of families following these teams and they are excited to come out [and] support their favorite Mexican teams,” Feder said.

For the past two years, Mexican Pacific League teams have won the Caribbean Series. The Caribbean Series is equivalent to MLB’s World Series.

This year, the Naranjeros de Hermosillo won the 2014 Caribbean Series title, and in 2013, the Yaquis de Obregon won. These two rival teams have the most anticipated matchup of the entire exhibition this weekend.

The deep-rooted rivalry between the two Sonoran teams is equivalent to the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox rivalry. The Yaquis and Naranjeros will face off in a rivalry extravaganza on Saturday night.

Prominent players like Oakland’s pitcher Jesse Chavez and Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Joakim Soria, who play in the Mexican Pacific League in the offseason, will not be in attendance this weekend.

Chavez’s team the A’s, were in the MLB post season playoffs but were eliminated on Tuesday. Soria’s team the Tigers, will play their first game of the post season tonight against the Baltimore Orioles.

At the games, there will be live music every day along with Mexican food and a thirsty Thursday special. General admission tickets start at $9.

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Follow Daniela Vizcarra on Twitter @vizcarra_dw

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