"We have a rich history of playing games in Hermosillo and continuing that tradition is something that is extremely important to our franchise, so we are very excited to return there this spring," said Hall, who sits on Major League Baseball's International Committee. "We know that there are many D-backs fans in Mexico who enjoy this opportunity to see their favorite team up close, and we are looking forward to a great game against the Rockies."
The D-backs have a long-standing history in Hermosillo, having played exhibition games there on nine different occasions (1998-2003, ‘08-10). The D-backs have hosted Mexican League teams three times at Chase Field and the World Baseball Classic twice (2006 & 2013). The team has made six visits during the past three years to Hermosillo, which is also home to Descubre Phoenix, a Mexico-based tourism outlet that sells tickets to D-backs games and other Phoenix-based events.
Most recently, the D-backs led a contingent of representatives from the Arizona-Mexico Commission on a goodwill trip to Hermosillo in November, hosting a clinic for youngsters and speaking to hundreds of university students at an exposition. In November, the D-backs signed Mexico-born infielder Walter Ibarra to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training. The Sinaloa native has played nine seasons in the Minor Leagues, reaching Triple-A in 2013-14. He will attend big league camp alongside fellow Mexican Oliver Perez, a left-hander who was one of the team's top pitchers in 2014.
The D-backs have always had a strong relationship with Enrique Mazon and the Hermosillo Naranjeros, who play their home games at Estadio Sonora. The franchise consulted on the planning and construction of that ballpark, which includes several features that resemble the award-winning Spring Training home of the D-backs, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. D-backs Spanish-language broadcaster Oscar Soria is the play-by-play announcer for the Naranjeros while fellow broadcaster Richard Saenz also took part in the club's visit along with D-backs legend and Special Assistant to the President & CEO, Luis Gonzalez.
[This does explain a quirk I noticed on the spring-training schedule: March 29 was listed as a split-squad game against the Rockies at Salt River Fields... without any corresponding other game. Makes more sense now!]