MEXICO CITY, Mexico — The San Diego Padres are headed to Mexico City this weekend for a two-game series against the San Francisco Giants.
CBS 8 will be there for all of the historic action! It will be the first time Major League Baseball has ever held regular season games in Mexico’s capital.
But, before players take the field, some of them will host a baseball clinic for local kids.
"Our kids there are very excited to participate and be part of this activity," said Abraham Martinez, coordinator of international relationships for the YMCA in Mexico.
Martinez is helping coordinate the clinic.
“We're gonna have more than 200 kids from different parts of the city learning and practicing the basics of baseball," said Martinez.
Martinez says the YMCA in Mexico City was asked to take part thanks to their relationship with the YMCA in San Diego County, which has long worked with the Padres organization to make the game of baseball more accessible to kids.
“We were talking with leadership from the Padres and they were mentioning they would like to do a civic outreach event and we knew just how the different paths aligned at the right time where we had the relationship with the Padres and we're building a stronger relationship with the Y in Mexico, so it's just a natural convergence of partners coming together," said Todd Tibbits, President and CEO of YMCA San Diego County.
Tibbits says for them and the Padres, this upcoming clinic is about more than just baseball.
“It says a lot about the Padres organization that yes, they're going there to play two games and to win two games against the Giants in Mexico City, but they're also there to build community and build relationships,” said Tibbits.
Baseball isn't the number one sport in Mexico, but its popularity is growing, which is a big part of why the Padres are playing there.
As for the clinic itself, it's happening Friday at a little league field complex.
On Wednesday, the team announced players Xander Bogaerts, Nelson Cruz, Matt Carpenter and more will be joined by alumni Trevor Hoffman, Carlos Hernandez and Mark Loretta, along with Padres CEO Erik Greupner and the Swingin' Friar and Pad Squad.
A once in a lifetime opportunity for many of the kids taking part.
“The kids see these individuals as larger than life and to see them as actually just human beings that are getting on their level sends messages and builds bridges for these kids. They can see opportunity for their life,” said Tibbits.
“This is gonna be something new for them. It's very exciting to see young people learning and playing this sport,” said Martinez.
Stay with CBS 8 all weekend for live coverage from Mexico City.
WATCH RELATED: MLB Chief Operations and Strategy Officer sits down to talk about Padres playing in Mexico City (April 2023).