Sunday, June 23, 2024

The Yankees are coming to Mexico City for the first time since 1968

In a matchup of the two most iconic baseball teams in their respective countries, the New York Yankees are heading south next month to play two exhibition games against the Mexico City Diablos Rojos (Red Devils).

The games will be played at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 24 and 6 p.m. Monday, March 25 at Alfredo Harp Helú Stadium in Mexico City.

Harp Helú stadium
The games will be played on Sunday, March 24 and Monday, March 25 at Alfredo Harp Helú Stadium in Mexico City. (Diablos Rojos/Cuartoscuro)

Ticket prices at the 5-year-old ballpark range from 980 pesos (US $57.35) in the outfield bleachers to 4,800 pesos (US $281) in the VIP section. Stadium capacity is 20,062.

Season ticket holders were able to buy tickets starting this week, but a general sale to the public has not yet been announced.

The results will not count in the standings for either team. The Yankees will open their 2024 regular season on March 28 in Houston, and the Red Devils will begin Mexican League action on April 11 in Puebla.

For the Yankees, the Mexico City games come on the final two days of spring training and are denoted as “split-squad” games. That means the Yankees will divide into two squads; one will travel to Mexico and the other will stay behind in Florida to play two other exhibition games.

The Mexico City Reds have won the Serie del Rey (King’s Series) a record 16 times, whereas the Yankees have won the World Series 27 times. (diablos.com.mx)

It is expected that the Yankees will field “a representative lineup for the Mexico contests,” according to MLB.com. The team’s current roster includes three players with Mexican roots: reliever Victor González, catcher Jose Trevino and outfielder Alex Verdugo.

The Yankees have won the Major League Baseball’s World Series a record 27 times, but the 2009 championship represents their only triumph in the past 20 years. Last season, they finished fifth in the American League East and failed to qualify for the playoffs.

The Mexico City Reds have won the Serie del Rey (King’s Series) a record 16 times and have played in it a record 33 times. Last season, they finished first in the Southern Division of the Mexican League, or the Liga Mexicana de Beisbol (LMB), but then lost in the second round of the playoffs.

The trip to Mexico City will be the Yankees’ first since Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle’s final season in 1968. In two exhibition games that year, the Red Devils won the first game 5-3 but lost the second 9-1.

Last season, the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres met in a pair of regular-season MLB games at Alfredo Harp Helú Stadium, which is situated 2,239 meters (7,349 feet) above sea level.

No other MLB game had ever been played at such a high altitude, and it showed: The Padres won the opener 16-11 in a game that featured 11 home runs. The second game, a 6-4 Padres’ victory, had “only” three home runs.

MLB regular season games are returning to the same diamond again this year, when the Houston Astros play the Colorado Rockies on April 27 and 28.

With reports from Milenio and MLB

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