Valley pro sport executives, former players visit Mexico

Nov 18, 2014, 5:00 AM | Updated: 5:00 am

PHOENIX — Executives from the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix International Raceway were in Mexico on Tuesday meeting locals and promoting their sports.

The contingent of executives, which included Luis Gonzalez, former baseball player and now special assistant to the Diamondback President and CEO; former Phoenix Suns player Horacio Llamas and NASCAR driver Rodrigo Marban, travelled to Hermosillo, Mexico as part of a planned trip representing the Arizona-Mexico Commission.

Josh Rawitch, senior vice president of communications for the Diamondbacks, said the trip is meant to continue improving relations between the Arizona and Sonoran states by allowing the fans to meet with the former players and have a chance to form relationships there.

“For us this is something we try to do several times a year as an organization and really just give back to the communities that support us,” Rawitch said. “There’s quite obviously a large latino population here in Arizona…so being able to go down there and really meet with people face to face and build relationships and do that sort of thing is really special for us.”

The group will meet people at a local establishment in Hermosillo that sells tickets for Diamondback games, then head to spend time with local kids, Rawitch said.

“We’ll also be conducting a clinic for about 40 youngsters (today) and speaking to a group of about 300 high school kids, just giving career advice from all three entities,” Rawitch said.

Tuesday evening the group will watch a Winter League game of the Hermosillo Naranjeros, which are the defending Caribbean Series champions.

Rawitch said the Arizona-Mexico Commission has worked to improve trade and business between the two states, and sports can play an important role in benefiting both Arizona and Mexico.

“Clearly when it comes to sports there are no political parties, there are no agendas,” Rawitch said. “You really just want to get down there and get to the meat and the fun of what happens.”

The group returns stateside on Wednesday afternoon.

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Valley pro sport executives, former players visit Mexico