EL PASO, Texas -- The San Diego Padres and El Paso Chihuahuas have agreed to extend their Player Development Contract to run through the 2016 season.
"We are thrilled to continue our partnership with the Padres," said Alan Ledford, MountainStar Sports Group President. "They are a terrific partner and we appreciate their assistance in bringing a top quality product to El Paso. Their entire organization have been great to work with and we sincerely appreciate all the support they have provided."
"We are excited to move forward with the Padres and look to a bright future as they continue to build through their farm system," said General Manager Brad Taylor. "The Padres have been extremely accommodating to work with and appreciative of the great atmosphere here in El Paso. It is remarkable to know that the coaches and players all want to see a continuing relationship with El Paso and the Chihuahuas."
The Chihuahuas have had success on and off the field. Led by field manager Pat Murphy, the Chihuahuas had 13 players appear in games for the Padres and six players made their Major League Baseball debut after playing for the team. In total, 27 players were called up to the Majors, 24 by San Diego.
A.J. Preller, Executive Vice President/General Manager of the San Diego Padres said, "Triple-A is an important level in the development of our players, and we are fortunate to have a great partnership with the El Paso club. The Chihuahuas have created a special atmosphere at their new ballpark that makes for a unique game experience. We are looking forward to continuing our affiliation and building on a successful first year in El Paso."
The Chihuahuas finished the inaugural campaign second in the Pacific Coast League's Pacific Southern Division with 72-72 record. With last year's Tucson team finishing 77-67, it marks the first time since 1988-89 that the Padres Triple-A team finished .500 or better in back-to-back seasons.
Off the field, the Chihuahuas have become one of the most successful brands in Minor League Baseball. The Chihuahuas sold out 48 of 67 games with a total attendance 548,435 at Southwest University Park.
After being purchased from the Tucson Padres in 2012, the team debuted its brand on Oct. 22 and soon after became a national success. The Chihuahuas sold merchandise in all 50 states and 10 countries, earned national recognition with its Bark at the Park jersey campaign benefiting the Humane Society of El Paso and more recently, Southwest University Park was nationally recognized with the 2014 Baseballparks.com Ballpark of the Year. The Chihuahuas were also awarded the 2015 Gildan Triple-A Baseball National Championship game to be played on September 22, 2015.