The El Paso Chihuahuas are in their sixth season as the Triple-A affiliate to the San Diego Padres. In that time, a total of 49 players have gone on to make their Major League Baseball debut after playing in El Paso.
The core of those 49 players are playing key roles on the Padres’ 25-man roster, but they will never forget their time in El Paso at Southwest University Park.
Look who I found at #PadresST: Former El Paso Chihuahuas manager Rod Barajas working with the catchers today. Barajas is now serving as the Padres bench coach. #KTSM9Sports pic.twitter.com/z3Mip4g4hY— Andy Morgan (@AndyMorganTV) March 15, 2019
“Playing in El Paso was amazing,“ said Padres infielder Luis Urias. “I really liked the city, I really liked the team and I think they have an amazing stadium.“
For most players, it is as simple as having a fanbase that supports their team as much as Chihuahuas fans do.
“I would just say the overall atmosphere,“ said Padres pitcher Phil Maton. “You just go there and it’s one of the few places you go to where there’s a big sense of pride for the hometown team.“
For others, it’s all about experiencing a different city and in the case of El Paso, a different culture.
“All of the people are super nice,“ said Padres outfielder Hunter Renfroe. “There’s great Mexican food. I do love Mexican food. That was always my favorite part.“
Opening Day at Southwest University Park is on Thursday, April 4.