Highlights for El Paso Chihuahuas inaugural season happen off the field

Updated: Monday, September 1 2014, 09:42 PM MDT
Highlights for El Paso Chihuahuas inaugural season happen off the field story image

By: Genevieve Curtis
EL PASO, Texas - The first season came with a lot of record-breaking moments for the organization.

The team finished the season with a win over the Salt Lake City Bees. The Chihuahuas finished .500 and second in their division.
But for the organization and for the community, this year was about a lot more than wins and losses.

The festivities started with a highlight reel of big plays from the games.

But many of the organization's highlights happened off the field.

“There's a national buzz about the Chihuahuas in baseball. People have heard how much fun it is here, how passionate this fan base is here,” said General Manager Brad Taylor. 

Chihuahuas fans set a single-season attendance record for El Paso’s  minor league baseball with more than half a million fans.

More than 548,000 fans came through the gates of Southwest University Park. Many of the games were sellouts.

The Chihuahuas partnered with local organizations like the Humane Society of El Paso and raised $20,000 in addition to adopting a Chihuahua of their own, Lola.

The El Paso Chihuahuas brand garnered national attention with its logo and merchandise and won a contest for hat design. Merchandise was shipped all over the globe.

Plus the team has the most Facebook fans of the minor league.

“It's been life-changing and a lot of fun,” said Taylor.

Looking back on the season gets Taylor choked up.
“I get to come in every day and have fun and help people, so it’s great,” said Taylor. 

Before and during the game, employees, players and other members of the organization took to the video board to thank what they call the best fans in minor league baseball.

"I can assure you, and I mean this sincerely-- there are no fans like the ones in El Paso. They are into the game. They're very passionate. They're knowledgeable and they stay," said Taylor.

In four and half months, fans learned to love names like Francour, Decker and Murphy.
They cheered "Fear the Ears" and bought dog bowls bursting with nachos. 
Military Mondays, Thrifty Thursdays and bark at the park became traditions.

Next season's home game schedule is already out; the first home game will be April 9. Taylor said next on deck, they're going to look at enhancing guest services and promotions, including theme nights, for the 2015 season.
“We don't assume we are going to be this good every year. We know we have to earn this. We know we have to work for it,” said Taylor. 

Highlights for El Paso Chihuahuas inaugural season happen off the field
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