Mexican Baseball Fiesta to return - Tucson News Now

Mexican Baseball Fiesta to return

Tucson, AZ -  The Tucson Padres and Visit Tucson announced the fourth annual Vamos a Tucson Mexican Baseball Fiesta presented by Cox will be played on October 2-5, 2014 at Kino Stadium. This year's event will include the Naranjeros de Hermosillo, Tomateros de Culiacan, Yaquis de Obregon, Mayos de Navojoa of the Mexican Pacific League, as well as a group of the top instructional league players from the Los Angeles Dodgers and Kansas City Royals organization. In 2013 we had three teams from Mexico. Thursday's press conference at Mariscos Mi Mazatlán included Juan Aguirre, the General Manager of the Naranjeros de Hermosillo.

Although the Tucson Padres moved to El Paso, we believe it was essential we continue this fun-filled cultural event in Tucson” said Mike Feder, former Tucson Padres GM and current President of the Mexican Baseball Fiesta, LLC. This tournament includes some of the most popular teams in Mexico. The Vamos a Tucson Mexican Baseball Fiesta will be a tradition in Tucson for many years to come.” Feder joined MBF founder Francisco Gamez and Jack Donovan in forming the Mexican Baseball Fiesta, LLC. All three partners worked for the Tucson Padres. The Mexican Baseball Fiesta now takes place in seven total cities – Tucson, Phoenix, El Paso, Nogales (MX), Magdalena, Agua Prieta, and Cananea.

“The Mexican Pacific League, is as popular in Mexico as Major League Baseball is in the U.S., if not more so,” said Francisco Gamez, Mexican Baseball Fiesta, founder and LLC partner. Gamez played over 10 years in the Mexican Pacific League. Donovan, who also pitched in the Mexican Pacific League, said “Excitement is best way to describe the Mexican Baseball Fiesta.  The energy of the fans, the music and fun make this a unique experience for all baseball fans that transcends borders and language.”

We're excited to partner with this great event for the fourth year to bring Mexican baseball back to Tucson,” said Felipe Garcia, Executive Vice President of Visit Tucson. The popularity of this event continues to grow and we are proud to be a part of something that both locals and visitors look forward to every October.”

Visit Tucson is one of two title sponsors of the Vamos a Tucson Mexican Baseball Fiesta. Visit Tucson has visitor centers in Hermosillo and Obregon. Vamos a Tucson is the Mexican marketing department of Visit Tucson. Cox Communications added their support to this year's international event.

“Cox is proud to be a member of the Tucson community and to bring this cultural event to baseball fans and their families,” said Lisa Lovallo, Market Vice President of Cox Communications. “Cox prides itself on delivering life's most important connections to its customers and we are thrilled to partner with Vamos A Tucson Mexican Baseball Fiesta to bring this event to not only the Hispanic community, but all of southern Arizona.” Added Lovallo, “Cox's title sponsorship of the Vamos A Tucson Baseball Fiesta is also a great way to celebrate Hispanic Heritage month in October when the games will get underway. Let's play ball!”

A large number of the Tucson Padres staff will run and operate the Vamos a Tucson Mexican Baseball Fiesta. Tickets to the general public go on sale on September 8th. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Kino Stadium box office, on the phone by calling (520) 434-1367 or online at www.MexicanBaseballFiesta.com. The prices are premier box seats - $15, box seats - $13, adult general admission - $9, Students 6 – 16 and senior citizens 55+ - $6; under 6 are free.   Fan giveaways and other activities are planned including a free kids baseball clinic on Saturday. 

Culiacan will play the Kansas City Royals Young Stars in the opener. The Mexican Pacific League and the defending Caribbean Series champion Naranjeros de Hermosillo will play the second game of the Mexican Baseball Fiesta on Thursday, October 2 against a group of the top minor leaguers from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Official opening ceremonies for the 2014 Vamos a Tucson Mexican Baseball Fiesta will take place between games on Friday, October 3. The full tournament schedule is as follows:

Thursday October 2nd - start 5:30 pm

Culiacan vs. Kansas City Future Stars

Hermosillo vs. Dodgers Future Stars

Friday October 3rd - start 5:30 pm

Dodgers Future Stars vs. Obregon

Hermosillo vs. Navojoa (rematch of LMP Finals)

Saturday October 4th - start 5:30 pm

Culiacan vs. Navojoa

Hermosillo vs. Obregon

Sunday October 5th - start 4:00 pm

Obregon vs. Navojoa

Hermosillo vs. Culiacan

Information on the Mexican Pacific League teams coming to Tucson:

Naranjeros de Hermosillo

The team based in the Capital of Sonora has a great following and strong attendance. The Naranjeros de Hermosillo are one of the most popular and successful teams in the Mexican Pacific League, having won 16 league titles and two Caribbean Series title. The Naranjeros won the Caribbean Series title in 2014. They became the first Mexican team to win the Caribbean Series after winning the title in 1976. Former Hermosillo players include Curt Schilling, Larry Walker, Fernando Valenzuela, Erubiel Durazo and Vinny Castilla.

Yaquis de Ciudad Obregon

The team from Obregon had won three Mexican Pacific League Championships in a row from 2010 - 2012, giving the team seven in club history. They also won the Caribbean Series in 2011 and 2012. Games between the Naranjeros and Yaquis are considered as some of the best matchups in the league, due to the long rivalry between both teams. Former Obregon players include Kansas City Royals pitcher Joakim Soria, Baltimore Orioles pitcher Luis Ayala and current San Diego Padres infielder Everth Cabrera.

Tomateros de Culiacan

The 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 like Rodrigo Lopez, Oliver Perez, Luis Ayala, Jose Silva and Benji Gil.

Mayos de Navojoa

The Mayos, in the Liga Mexicana del Pacífico (official name), lost to the Naranjeros in last year's league championship series. They have been champions of the league twice. The first time was at the 1978–79 season, with Chuck Goggin as coach. The next time was in the 1999–2000 season, with Lorenzo Bundy as manager. Bundy, who lives in Tucson and is the Los Angeles Dodgers third base coach, has managed Navojoa nine years, taking the Mayos to the championship series four times..

Information on the Mexican Baseball Fiesta, LLC is available at www.MexicanBaseballFiesta.com; on Facebook at Mexican Baseball Fiesta; on Twitter at @MexBaseballFsta in English, @MexBeisbolFsta in Spanish.
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