The best batting team in the minor leagues was no match for the best pitching bullpen in the minor leagues. The El Paso Chihuahuas, winners of the Pacific Coast League took on the winners of the International League’s Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Rail Riders in Gildan Triple-A baseball national championship Tuesday night.
The comeback kids who run El Paso or as I like to call it the nine, weren’t triumphant in their three to one lost in the national championship game in Memphis Tennessee. Losing to the New York Yankees minor league affiliates does not help soften the blow. In case you don’t know the El Paso Chihuahuas are the San Diego Padres minor league affiliate.
In the Chihuahuas third season of existence, they made it to their first national championship game along with winning back to back division titles as well as claiming their first Pacific Coast League Championship. To put it in perspective for El Paso and the people who were against bringing the expansion team here in the first place peep these fun facts: April 25, 2013 City Hall demolished, May 30, 2013, South West Univeristy Park groundbreaking, April 28, 2014 1st game at South West University Park, September 6, 2015, Chihuahuas win first divisional title, September 17, 2016, Pacific Coast League Champs and lastly September 20, 2016, lose three to one in the national championship game.
They may have lost the national championship but they delivered El Paso its first championship in baseball since the El Paso Diablos won the Double-A Texas League title in 1994. Which is huge not only for El Paso but for El Paso baseball in general. Fun fact El Paso’s own Bowie Bears won the first Texas high school baseball championship in 1949, the Socorro Bulldogs brought it back home in 2009, the Diablos had one point sell out Cohen stadium because they had Cy Young winner Randy Johnson on the mound for them and that’s not even to count the countless talent El Paso has brought into the major leagues.
This season only being the third in the franchise was historic. From having a new manager led the squad. Leading the league in home runs as well as having outfielder Hunter Renfroe being the league’s most valuable player, infielder Carlos Asuaje was the PCL rookie of the year. In addition Renfroe, Asuaje outfielder Manuel Margo and catcher Austin Hedges were each named to the All-PCL team.
They could have easily been called up by the Padres, who struggled again this season but team management recognized their development would be best served by playing in El Paso every day and boy did it ever. From sell out games to having the third highest fans per home game average in the 16-team Pacific Coast League to having a country music festival on their home turf get turned into a viewing party when the Chihuahuas played the Oklahoma Dodgers to advance to the national championship. They even had a viewing party inside the stadium to watch the national championship game.
PCL Champions!!! pic.twitter.com/F0q5TzZhW6<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
— El Paso Chihuahuas (@epchihuahuas) September">https://twitter.com/epchihuahuas/status/7773650131... 18, 2016
Yes, El Paso and baseball they go together they belong with each other if these three years have any proof it’s the fact that this squad continues to get better and it benefits the city. El Pasoans may not have that much root for but during baseball season the Chihuahuas put the nine on their back and spoil us. Please continue to do so, the nine will support.
So thank you El Paso Chihuahuas for this historic season of comebacks, cheers, boos MVP chants, what could have been night, home runs, Chico the dog and most importantly thank you for putting the nine on your back and bringing back some pristine baseball excellence back to El Paso. And most importantly thank you to the fans, I was hoping my new Chihuahuas’ fitted would have the national championship logo, trophy or something of that sort but this historic season is more than enough for me. See you next year South West University Park. Fear the ears.