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Blue Wahoos Complete Entertaining Showcase Against Monterrey Sultanes Before Season-Opener

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April 3, 2024 – Southern League (SL)
Pensacola Blue Wahoos News Release

The never-before series with the Blue Wahoos and the Mexican League’s Monterrey Sultanes ended Wednesday with both teams hugging, exchanging their jerseys, then gathering for a team photo.

Then, a countdown in Spanish began for a fireworks show, while a Latin band performed and had people dancing on the concourse well after the game ended.

It was this kind of memorable night in Blue Wahoos Stadium history.

The game was a show, too.

The Sultanes hit three home runs, one of them a sure-bet into the water beyond left field, en route to a 6-4 win against the home team, which again reverted to its alter identity as the Pensacola Pok-ta-Pok in a nod to baseball’s Latino influence and Pensacola’s own Spanish history.

“I love Pensacola. I really love the people,” said Guillermo “Willie” Gonzalez, the Sultanes’ vice president, who began working for the team at 13-years-old as a baggage handler, then worked his way all the way into having management stake in the oldest franchise (81 years) in the Mexican League.

“The weather is amazing, the food, everything,” he said. “The last time we played in the (United) States was in 2011 (against the Arizona Diamondbacks). So many years ago. This was our brilliant idea. We are so excited… I had heard about the fireworks and we’re so happy.”

The two games, which are believed to be the first time a Mexican League team has played against an affiliated Major League Baseball team in the eastern side of the U.S.. brought a sizeable crowd on a perfect weather night Wednesday at the bayfront stadium.

The event came about when Monterrey’s lead owner, a golfer and fan of Pensacola’s pro star Bubba Watson, read the introspective book by the two-time Masters champion and 11-time PGA Tour winner and wanted to meet him. That led to a meeting and eventual decision by Monterrey to travel to Pensacola.

The two organizations have quickly connected and mentioned about continuing this kind of series in future years.

The games were sponsored by Nationwide Insurance, a major corporate partner of Minor League and Major League Baseball, along with Pensacola Sports and VisitPensacola.

Through Pensacola’s BLAB-TV, the games were able to be shared on a live broadcast to the Monterrey-based media company that owns the Sultanes and a potential audience of 6.5 million people throughout Mexico.

There were broadcasters in Monterrey providing their fans with play-by-play of the game. Also, a…

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