Mexico City Series fiesta to remember
Padres, Giants rewarded Mexico City fans
MEXICO CITY – The Aztecs left a prophecy in what is called the memorials of Culhuacan. Translated it reads: “As long as the world remains, the fame and glory of Mexico-Tenochtitlan won’t end.” There was plenty of fame and glory this weekend during the Mexico City Series.
Tenochtitlan is the great Aztec civilization modern day Mexico City stands upon today. The prophecy seems accurate to me, but I’m biased. I’ve been coming to Mexico City since before it was cool like it is today in mainstream culture.
Coming back this week for the historic Mexico City Series felt like a major league Pachanga Chilanga. The Padres swept the two-game set against the San Francisco Giants. San Diego won the home run fiesta Saturday, 16-11. Then they won in comeback fashion Sunday, 6-4, before a sellout crowd at Estadio Alfredo Harp Helu.
Maybe it’s fate that I live a couple blocks from Wrigley Field, and my retired parents are back home living just about 10-15 minutes from Estadio Alfredo Harp Helu in Iztacalco’s sports city.
Mexico City Series adds to rich history
My mother grew up just minutes away from Mexico’s baseball cathedral Parque Delta. While this weekend was the first official regular season Major League Baseball series played in Mexico City, the Mexican capital has a rich history of baseball.
Although soccer dominates the headlines, Mexico City is indeed a baseball city. Legends Babe Ruth, Mexican American Ted Williams, Roberto Clemente and Bill Mazeroski all played in exhibition baseball games here. It should come as no surprise to anybody that the two-game series sold out in minutes.
Living steps from Wrigley Field on a summer night I can hear the roar of the Friendly Confines from my window. I witnessed the last out that put my Cubs in the World Series from the center field bleachers.
I’ve seen the U.S. national soccer team play Mexico at the iconic Estadio Azteca as a fan and as an employee of U.S. Soccer for work.
The atmosphere at the ballpark this weekend was one of the best I have ever experienced. It was quite literally a Pachanga Chilanga. It had it all, mariachis, sombreros, piñatas, cerveza, luchador masks, music, but most of all Mexican ambience.
Padres and Giants made the most of it
The players had a blast and really embraced the culture.
“We had this marked on the schedule as a series we were really looking forward to, one that we knew would be really exciting,” Matt Carpenter said. “Mexico City didn’t let us down.”
Padres skipper Bob Melvin echoed his first baseman’s thoughts on the series. Padres pitcher Yu Darvish admitted needing oxygen during the early part of the ballgame due to the altitude, but he felt the love in CDMX.
“I felt the support of the Mexican fans, especially in the bullpen when I was warming up before the game,” Darvish said. “Thanks to the Mexican fans for that support.”
While the Giants were on the losing side of the fiesta, they were able to get out and take in the experience by catching the internationally renowned lucha libre Friday evening.
Major League Baseball will return to the Mexican capital. The regular season series is a three-year commitment as part of MLB’s world tour that has seen the league play a regular season game in Monterrey Mexico in 2022.
In June the Cubs and Cardinals will play in London. I love London. In fact, I have been to an England World Cup qualifier at Wembley, watched Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and organized a match at historic Craven Cottage.
While it was all great and unforgettable, I‘m confident the London Series won’t be the Pachanga Chilanga my paisanos put together.
As the Aztecs told us, after all, the fame and glory of Mexico-Tenochtitlan won’t end.
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