Leones de Yucatán, Passion for Baseball
Baseball season starts in April in Yucatán, and fans are eager to gather at the stadium. What brings hundreds of people from all over the state to Kukulcán Álamo Stadium? Childhood nostalgia, memories with family and friends, celebrations and cheers, world-class players, a great sense of community…but above all, an endless parade of delicious street food.
Some say soccer is a matter of life and death, but in Yucatán the sport that brings us together like no other is baseball. With more than 50 years of history in the Mexican Baseball League, the local team, Leones de Yucatán, is one of the best in the country. For sports fans, every game of the Melenudos (the “lion-maned”) is a professional spectacle.
In fact, our love for baseball can be experienced in every corner of the state; men’s, women’s, and mixed community leagues are part of everyday life. For many years, Yucatecan baseball legends such as Rayo Arredondo, Ray Torres, Juan José Pacho, and Osvaldo Morejón even teamed up with the smaller local leagues in the off-season and played with the fans, creating a great sense of belonging and community.
Attending the Kukulcán is diving into Yucatecan culture. Locals, travelers, and new Yucatecans; experts and not-so-experts all have a place in the celebration. Tickets start at $25 pesos, which is affordable for most people. From all over the state, families, adults, youth, fans, and amateurs come to enjoy the game and share in the joy of Leonel “El Coronel” (The Colonel), the official Leones mascot.
Amidst a great family atmosphere, there’s also room for a few cold beers for the hot Yucatecan summer afternoons. And who doesn’t enjoy the traditional food offerings at the Kukulcán? The snacks at the baseball stadium are an essential part of the experience, and its creators have become unforgettable icons. One example is Miguelito, “the king of pastries,” who sold famous Hojaldras (ham-and-cheese pastries), and whose cultural and gastronomic legacy is honored today with a statue in the Parque El Rey de Los Deportes, next to the stadium.
So, while you celebrate the Leones‘ victories, enjoy Queso de Bola Kibis, Piedras, Polcanes, Machacados, Hojaldras, Marquesitas, Chicharrones, and other street foods. Going to the ballgame without trying traditional snacks would be a paradox: one does not exist without the other.
To make sure you don’t miss this season and can go roar with the Leones, here’s the Mexican baseball league schedule. The Leones’ opening home game is on April 22. Visit their website or a Leoneshop for tickets.
Parque Kukulcán Álamo
Cto. Colonias x 28, Kukulcán
Tel. 999 926 3022
FB: Leones de Yucatán
By Andrea Figueroa
Photography by Alicia Navarrete and Los Reyes for its use in Yucatán Today.
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