When the Pacific Coast League season opens Thursday night there will be a dog on the field at Aces Ballpark in Reno.
Actually, there will be nine dogs on the field. Chihuahuas at every position.
The El Paso Chihuahuas will be marking their territory as the new Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres, replacing the team in Tucson that nobody cared about.
I really like the El Paso logo. Or at least one of them, as there are five. It’s a Swinging Chihuahua, spawned by the Swinging Friar, which is the traditional logo of the parent club in San Diego.
The Swinging Chihuahua is very cool. It’s an angry Chihuahua — is there any other kind? — swinging a dog bone instead of a Louisville Slugger. It’s almost as cool as the Swinging Sasquatch, one of the logos of the Eugene Emeralds, another Padres affiliate.
The Chihuahuas nickname was selected by El Paso baseball fans. The other finalists, also suggested by El Paso baseball fans (and probably at least a couple of guys from Las Cruces, N.M.) were Desert Gators, Sun Dogs (El Paso once had a team in the Texas League called the Sun Kings), Buckaroos and Aardvarks.
I have no idea what a Swinging Aardvark would look like, although an image of Huge Hefner in a smoking jacket immediately comes to mind.