With the Yankees having their Opening Day series on the road against the Houston Astros, an opportunity arose for the team to play a series in a foreign location. For the first time in over 50 years, the Yankees will play in Mexico, taking on the Diablos Rojos (Red Devils) in a two-game exhibition series according to Fernando Ballesteros of Puro Beisbol. These will be the final games played in Spring Training for the Yankees, and while some may be concerned about potential travel, Mexico City is about a two-and-a-half-hour flight from Houston.
It’s great news for the international baseball scene, as the Yankees will play in Mexico on March 24th and 25th this upcoming season.
Yankees to Make Historic Trip to Mexico City
The Yankees are one of the most iconic franchises in all of sports, with their caps being donned all across the world, and they’ll take on the Diablos Rojos of the Mexican League. Last season, the Diablos Rojos de Mexico won the most games in the Mexican League (55) and had the best record in the South zone. International baseball has garnered more respect in many industry circles, as evidenced by the money handed out to players such as Korea’s Jung-Hoo Lee and Japan’s Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Shota Imanaga.
It ties back to the incredible World Baseball Classic, which Japan swept through to claim a third title in the history of the tournament. Another huge storyline was the run that Team Mexico went on in that tournament, beating the United States in the Group Stages and holding a ninth-inning lead over Team Japan in the Semi-Finals. They made a statement in the tournament, and they got some contributions from a new face in the Bronx.
Alex Verdugo was one of many Major League players who participated in the World Baseball Classic, and while he was born in the United States, he’s a proud Mexican-American. He struggled in the tournament but had a huge hit off of Yoshinobu Yamamoto in their Semi-Final matchup against Team Japan. Another new name on the Yankees’ roster is Victor Gonzalez, who was born in Mexico, although his hometown is pretty far from Mexico City.
The Yankees have another player of Mexican descent in Jose Trevino, who won the Platinum Glove in 2022 in his debut season with the team. Neither he nor Gonzalez played for Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic although there was a buzz about Gonzalez potentially representing his home country in the tournament.
Baseball is looking to expand its global reach, and part of that is providing an audience for some of the best players across the globe. Mexico is an emerging hotbed for baseball, and their showing in the WBC with a roster that featured a good amount of non-MLB talent has put them on the map. This will give more of a platform for people to see how passionate Mexican baseball can be, especially with the rocking crowds you can see at games in the Mexican League.
It’ll be a matchup between the two teams with the most titles in their respective league’s illustrious histories, and it creates a unique opportunity for the world to watch just how far baseball has come outside of the United States. MLB plans to have the Houston Astros and Colorado Rockies play in Mexico in the regular season this season as well.