The El Paso Chihuahuas (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) will host an exhibition game against the San Diego Padres at Southwest University Park in 2018. The game against their parent club, scheduled for March 26 at 6:35 p.m, will kick off the Chihuahuas Fifth Season Celebration festivities.
Today’s announcement also included the official debut of the Fifth Season Celebration logo that will be used throughout the 2018 season and the addition of the 2017 division and conference championship flags on the Wall of Champions located in the outfield of Southwest University Park.
“We’re thrilled to bring a Major League team to El Paso and Southwest University Park for the second time in our history,” said MountainStar Sports Group President Alan Ledford. “Fans will get to see some of their favorite former Chihuahuas while getting the first glimpse at the 2018 team. The Padres have some of the best young talent in the Big Leagues and we’re excited to introduce them to our fans.”
“The Padres have been tremendous partners through our first four seasons providing our fans with top tier, up-and-coming talent,” said Chihuahuas Vice President and General Manager Brad Taylor. “This game is a great gesture from them and a great way to start our fifth season.”
The exhibition game between the Padres and the Chihuahuas will mark the second meeting in five seasons between the two teams which played the first exhibition game on March 31, 2016. The Padres defeated the Chihuahuas 13-9 in a game that included eight home runs hit between the two teams.
“The El Paso organization has played an invaluable role in the development of current and future Padres, as evidenced by the success they’ve achieved in the PCL as well as the impact former Chihuahuas have made at the big-league level,” said Padres Executive Vice President/General Manager A.J. Preller. “Southwest University Park sets the standard for a quality ballpark experience and we look forward to participating in this exhibition game as we prepare for the 2018 season.”
The Chihuahuas, the back-to-back Pacific Coast League (PCL) Pacific Conference Champions, ended the 2017 campaign 73-69 (.519), en route to their second appearance in the PCL Championship series. The Chihuahuas won the league title in 2016, a team that included current Padres, Manuel Margot, Austin Hedges, Carlos Asuaje, Hunter Renfroe and Phil Maton, to name a few. There were 36 Chihuahuas on the 2016 championship team that played for San Diego.
The Chihuahuas have won three division titles, two conference titles and a league championship as the Padres’ Triple-A affiliate while finishing .500 or better every year since making the move to El Paso. Since the 2014 campaign, 28 Chihuahuas have made their major league debut with the San Diego Padres including six in 2017. A total of 101 players have ultimately played in Major League Baseball after donning the Chihuahuas uniform.