Arizona Diamondbacks

More from this show

The Arizona Diamondbacks recently named Erubiel Durazo as special adviser on Mexico, Francisco Cartaya as coordinator for Latino America and Rodrigo Aguirre as a scout in Mexico. They also signed a partnership with the Hermosillo Naranjeros. Jerry Romo, Arizona Diamondbacks Manager of Hispanic and Emerging Markets, talks about the team’s outreach efforts in Mexico.

Jose Cardenas: The Arizona Diamondbacks named former D-backs first baseman Erubiel Durazo as special advisor on Mexico, Francisco Cartaya as coordinator for Latino America, and Rodrigo Chapo Aguirre as a scout in Mexico. The hiring of Aguirre, Cartaya, and Durazo is part of the team's ongoing efforts to identify top talent pool in Mexico and develop those players into future Diamondbacks players. Here with me now to talk about this is Jerry Romo, Arizona Diamondbacks manager of Hispanic and emerging markets. Jerry, welcome back to "Horizonte." We've had you on before. Spring training began this week. Lots of excitement about spring training and particularly the Diamondbacks. And we'll talk about that in a little bit but tell us about this particular initiative.

Jerry Romo: Yes. Well, back in January, he was a big part of the 2001 World Series team and arguably the most popular Hispanic player the franchise has ever had. The fact that he's now back in the organization, now he's going to be working like you mentioned as a special advisor to our president, that's going to give us that -- open up more avenues for us to be able to acquire future talent down in Mexico which we know is extremely important to have that presence and to have someone that's connected with the community, someone that knows the game well, someone who's a native of Sonora, it's just great to see that he's back with this new role.

Jose Cardenas: And we had a picture while you were talking and we've got another one of him in his playing days, and then there was the one of him at the press conference announcing this. Was this in Hermosillo?

Jerry Romo: Correct, so it's a perfect fit.

Jose Cardenas: It looks like he's still in pretty good shape.

Jerry Romo: I'm sure he can probably smack a home run or two. But he's great. Very talented.

Jose Cardenas: The other two gentlemen?

Jerry Romo: Francisco Cartaya is our coordinator in Latin America. Rodrigo Chapo Aguirre is one of our scouts. So the three of them will be working as a team trying to find that top talent that will hopefully translate to future Diamondbacks here.

Jose Cardenas: And as I understand it, there's also some kind of agreement that was signed with the local team, very popular team, very, very -- I think Durazo played for them?

Jerry Romo: We've always had a very good relationship with that group. And you know we're trying to see how we can incorporate some of those players that can go and play in Hermosillo and show their talents here.

Jose Cardenas: Is there anybody else in the major leagues that's made this kind of focused effort on Mexico and points south?

Jerry Romo: There's been teams that have gone and played a couple of games down there. There's exhibition games for the most part that have happened but I think the Diamondbacks have been the most aggressive and just being able to continue that relationship for over 10 years. There's been that connection where games have been played down in Hermosillo. We did it last year in March with a game against the Colorado Rockies. And to us it's very important to continue that tradition. We know that Hermosillo, you have a very large fan base and we see it as our second home and there's no doubt that when we go down there, the Diamondbacks, they're a big deal.

Jose Cardenas: And it's not just baseball. You guys are sponsoring a race?

Jerry Romo: We are sponsoring a race on March 13th. It's a half-marathon in Hermosillo. Very proud to be involved with this race for the very first time and again, it's sending the message that we understand how important it is to be involved in any sport, whether it's baseball or not, and it helps us with our brand.

Jose Cardenas: You've got some other initiatives, we've talked in the past about your family festival, you're doing that again?

Jerry Romo: Last year, we did a total of three. They went extremely great. For 2016 we're doing eight. These are festivals where we celebrate the Hispanic culture. We have live music, we have mariachi, we have great food, even a beer garden. This is a family event. We invite family to come out and experience the culture and we're hoping that, you know, this continues to grow as we go on.

Jose Cardenas: And speaking of growing, any sense for how this has impacted attendance from the Hispanic community at the games?

Jerry Romo: There's no doubt. You start walking around the ballpark and a large part of our fan base are Hispanics. You get a lot of people within the Phoenix area that have followed the Diamondbacks for a long time. You have people here that are from Mexico that perhaps started following other teams but now that they're here, the Diamondbacks have become their team. And it's nice to see, being able to connect with the Hispanic community and I think it's these kinds of projects that we put out that really help us connect, because they're focused and dedicated to this fan base, so that they see we are paying attention, and our objective is to keep growing that number.

Jose Cardenas: We're almost out of time. I wanted to touch quickly on this diversity conference that you've got, coming up?

Jerry Romo: The MLB diversity summit at chase field March 8th and 9th, only the fourth time that Major League Baseball puts this on with other stops in Chicago, Houston and New York. So this is basically geared towards minorities. We want to increase the number of minorities working in Major League Baseball. So this is a job fair, procurement, anyone that wants to do business with baseball, you have an opportunity to meet with representatives from all 30 Major League Baseball teams, the office of the commissioner and MLB networks. So it's a great opportunity for anyone looking to work in baseball.

Jose Cardenas: And if somebody wants more information?

Jerry Romo: They can go to MLB.com/diversitysummit.

Jose Cardenas: Mr. Romo, thank you so much for joining us on "Horizonte." And it's good to see you.

Jerry Romo: Pleasure being here.

Jerry Romo: Arizona Diamondbacks Manager of Hispanic and Emerging Markets

Illustration of columns of a capitol building with text reading: Arizona PBS AZ Votes 2024

Arizona PBS presents candidate debates

An armed forces bugler playing the trumpet in front of the United States Capitol building.
aired May 26

National Memorial Day Concert 2024

Graphic for the AZPBS kids LEARN! Writing Contest with a child sitting in a chair writing on a table and text reading: The Ultimate Field Trip
May 26

Submit your entry for the 2024 Writing Contest

Rachel Khong
May 29

Join us for PBS Books Readers Club!

Subscribe to Arizona PBS Newsletters

STAY in touch
with azpbs.org!

Subscribe to Arizona PBS Newsletters: