In an announcement made prior to the day's Caribbean Series match-up, the Dodgers team revealed that two Liga Mexicana de Béisbol clubs - the Diablos Rojos of Mexico City and the Sultanes of Monterrey - will play an official regular-season game at Dodger Stadium.Hey, it's baseball.
It's a historic event - never before has a Major League Baseball team presented a Mexican League game in its own stadium as an individually priced event.
The game, set for May 16 at 6PM Pacific, is being billed as La Serie Azul - in recognition of the Dodger blue that permeates the Dodgers' longtime home..I guess it takes a smart man to make this work:
Tickets prices range from $5 to $30, and the Dodgers are handling all ticket sales
Joseph Reaves, the Dodgers' director of international relations, notes, "We have a long-standing relationship with our Mexican fans and with those of Mexican descent around the world. We do not take that for granted."But it isn't always easy to do these things:
The genesis for the Mexican League game came from Reaves, who says it was part of his pitch when interviewing in 2007 for the newly created position.
Task One involved a meeting with Roberto Mansur, president of the Diablos Rojos - considered the No. 1 influencer in Mexican baseball. Monterrey Sultanes general manager Roberto Magdaleno was then approached.It makes sense, economically and socially, for this to happen:
Once both teams signed off on the plan, each team juggled its schedule for a one-game trip to Los Angeles.
Then came a call to Arte Moreno, owner of the Dodgers' American League rivals from Orange County - the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Since the Angels shared territorial rights with the Dodgers, permission from the Angels was another hurdle to clear in bringing Mexican League baseball to Southern California.
The Angels approved the deal, and the date selected - May 16 - happens to fall on the one weekend during the Major League Baseball season when the Dodgers and Angels are both out of town.
In 2008 pitcher Esteban Loíza became the 17th Dodger born in Mexico and the ninth Dodgers pitcher of Mexican heritage. The Dodgers' long history with Mexico dates to 1964, when the 1963 World Champions played an exhibition game in Mexico City against the Diablos Rojos. But it is the 1980 arrival of Mexican pitcher Fernando Valenzuela to the Dodgers that cemented the team as a fan favorite among Mexicans on both side of the border. The Dodgers' last visit to Mexico was in 2003, when the team played the New York Mets in a two-game series at Estadio Foro Sol in Mexico City.I lived in L.A. for two years. I'm going to leave my personal opinions out of it and just present the facts.
That's a change for me.