HOUSTON-- Today at a press conference in Mexico City, Major League Baseball, the Major League Baseball Players Association and Mexico City Mayor Dr. Miguel Mancera announced that the Astros will play two exhibition games vs. the San Diego Padres, March 26-27, at Estadio Fray Nano in Mexico City. The stadium, which was recently renovated, is the home of the Diablos Rojos de Mexico of the Mexican Baseball League.
The two-game exhibition series is part of an ongoing collaboration between MLB, the MLBPA and the Mexico City Mayor's Office to promote the sport of baseball in Mexico.
Astros All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve, General Manager Jeff Luhnow and popular Astros mascot Orbit took part in today's press conference in Mexico City. Padres General Manager A.J. Preller and MLBPA Senior Advisor Omar Minaya were also in attendance.
The upcoming exhibition games will have special meaning to Luhnow, who was born and raised in Mexico. "I'm thrilled that the Astros will have the opportunity to play games in Mexico," Luhnow said. "The Mexican people have a great love for baseball, so I know these games will be very well-received."
The "Mexico City Series" will mark the return to Mexico for the Astros, who also appeared in the last MLB games played in Mexico City - a two-game Spring Training series against the Florida Marlins in 2004. Houston has also participated in international Spring Training contests in the Dominican Republic (2000) and Venezuela (2001).
The Astros and Padres will play the exhibition games in Mexico City with split squads, as both clubs will also have Spring Training games at their respective Florida and Arizona locations on March 26-27.