The Algodoneros de Guasave are planning to make a trip across the Atlantic Ocean this fall to play in a tournament involving European teams and perhaps an Asian squad as well. The Cottoneers announced last week that they will be taking part in the Barcelona Baseball Cup between September 26 and October 3, thus making them the first professional team from Mexico to play on the European continent.
Taking part in the virtual press conference were the three event organizers (Catalan Federation of Baseball and Softball president Jordi Valles Mestres, Barcelona Baseball Cup CEO Rafael Llames Cabrera, and Base Internacional SA managing director Miguel Pazcabrales), along with Guasave general director Luis Fernando García and team sports manager Alejandro Ahumada. According to a press release from the Algodoneros, Valles explained that the inclusion of a Mexican team in the tournament will cause a huge impact, since Spain has “a large Latino population that likes baseball.”
The Barcelona Baseball Cup will be played in two venues: The first is Estadio Carlos Pérez de Rozas (home of the Spanish Baseball League’s BC Barcelona), while other games will take place at the C.B. Viladecans’ ballpark, which was used for baseball during the 1992 Summer Olympics. Training will take place in Sant Boi, site of another Spanish Baseball League team.
Besides the Algodoneros, it is hoped that teams from Italy, The Netherlands and host Spain will take part in the tournament, while efforts are being made to include at least one team from Asia. Guasave may be the tournament favorite going in, due to the comparatively higher level of play in the Mexican Pacific League and Mexico’s fifth-ranked status in the latest WBSC ratings. The Spanish Baseball League—until last week known as the División of Honor—is one of the top leagues in Europe, but professional players are in the minority and the only advantage any chosen host team will have in the Barcelona Baseball Cup is home-field advantage.
Bruce Baskin writes on Mexican baseball at BaseballMexico.blogspot.com. His BASEBALL MEXICO newsletter has provided the world’s only regular English-language coverage of Mexican baseball since 2009 and exactly 100 of his weekly roundups have appeared on Mister Baseball.