The El Paso Chihuahuas!” was the name that was announced to the City of El Paso and its residents on October 22, 2013 by El Paso Triple-A Baseball’s General Manager Brad Taylor.
Two and a half years later, the Chihuahuas are asking and wondering …’What Could Have Been’ on that October day in 2013 and have decided to rename the team, the El Paso Desert Gators!
On June 10th, when the Chihuahuas take on Albuquerque at 7:05 p.m. at Southwest University Park, the Desert Gators will host What Could Have Been Night Presented by The Hospitals of Providence and answer the very question of “what if” that will include specialty jerseys worn by the players, merchandise sold in the Team Shop as well as change the course of El Paso history, world history and pop culture history. Fans are encouraged to purchase in advance as a limited number of reserve seats remain.
“What Could Have Been Night” originated from Taylor’s former team, the Bowling Green Hot Rods. Under Taylor’s tutelage, the Hot Rods won the 2009 Minor League Baseball Promotion of the Year with their debut of What Could Have Been Night, changing the team name to the Cave Shrimp, a finalist in the Hot Rod’s name the team contest, similar to the Chihuahuas.
“This is all about having fun with an alternate reality,” Taylor said. “For a night, fans can know ‘What Could Have Been’ as we embrace the Desert Gators.”
The search for El Paso Triple-A Baseball’s team name began with a community-wide effort, allowing the region’s fans to submit names through the El Paso Triple-A website. The short list of finalists included Aardvarks, Buckaroos, Chihuahuas, Desert Gators, and Sun Dogs.
The list was narrowed based on creativity, marketability, fun, relevance to El Paso’s unique character and the ability to trademark the name.
Chihuahuas was a name that resonated nationally after it was announced, having been a featured topic on Around the Horn (ESPN) & the Jim Rome Show (CBS Sports Network), and receiving online coverage from the likes of CBS, Yahoo! Sports and AOL.com, in addition to being among the top-10 national trending topics on Twitter.
Since their debut more than two years ago, the Chihuahuas have had more than 1-million fans walk through the Southwest University Park gates; sold merchandise in all 50 states and over 10 countries; rank first in Minor League Baseball on social media on Facebook with 129,000 followers, more than 46,000 followers on Twitter and 30,000 followers on Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube combined; have contributed more than 1,100 community service hours; Chico, the brand’s mascot has made more than 1,000 community appearances; and have given more than $500,000 in charitable donations including jersey auctions.
“By living the brand, we have been able to do many positive things with our amazing community partners and fans,” said Taylor. “The love this town shows its team is unparalleled.”
Merchandise will be sold at the Chihuahuas Team Shop beginning on June 10th for fans in attendance at gates open (6 p.m.).
A limited number of reserve seats remain! Fans are encouraged to purchase in advance and save by visiting EPChihuahuas.com or by calling (915) 533-BASE.
In conjunction with What Could Have Been Night on Friday, June 10th, The Hospitals of Providence and the Chihuahuas will host the Healthy Over Hungry Cereal Drive. Fans are encouraged to bring unopened cereal boxes or a monetary contribution to the game in exchange for cereal bowls. Proceeds will benefit the El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank. For more information call (915) 533-BASE.