MLB has announced that the SF Giants will be part of MLB history next season when they take on the San Diego Padres for a two-game series April 29-30. While the Padres will be the home team in both matchups, these games will mark MLB’s first regular season games to be played in Mexico City.
The Padres franchise has played south of the US-Mexico border several times before. San Diego played in Mexico City, hosting the Astros in a two-game exhibition in 2016. They were also part of three regular-season series in Monterrey, Mexico. The Padres faced the Dodgers in 2018, the Rockies in 1999 and the Mets in 1996.
On the other hand, the Giants have never played an international game before. The only major neutral site games were in 2004 when they played the Montreal Expos in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Although the Giants lack the star power of their division rivals, Manny Machado, Juan Soto and Joe Musgrove will likely take the field in Mexico City. However, Giants outfielder Luis González is one of the few Mexican natives currently playing in MLB. González was born in Hermosillo, Mexico, before immigrating to the United States at the age of nine.
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González was asked about the announcement by members of the Giants’ press corps. He said: “It’s really cool to see MLB do that, kind of expand the fanbase and get more countries involved in baseball. You see basketball do it. You see the ‘UFC doing it big now. It’s cool to come out and show the game to the world.’
Although González isn’t guaranteed a spot on the Giants’ roster next season, he was asked what it would mean to play an MLB game in his home country. He said, “It’s something I’ve been looking forward to since I was 14 and started playing organized baseball…I’ve always wanted to go back to Mexico and play with old guys. friends, where I grew up. For me to be able to go back to Mexico next year is very, uh – what’s the word – emotionally cool. It would just be sick.
If González finishes the season strong, he has a chance to cement his role with the SF Giants in 2023 and give him a chance to be in the roster when they travel to Mexico.