The shock has largely worn off since the new El Paso franchise introduced itself as the Chihuahuas three months ago. Now the team that is scheduled to debut in the Pacific Coast League in April at a new downtown ballpark has a uniform to put with its unusual name and logo.
El Paso, the Padres Triple-A affiliate that spent the past three seasons in Tucson, unveiled five versions of the uniforms it will be wearing this season at a fashion show of sorts last night, with future Chihuahua and 2005 supplemental first-round pick Travis Buck among the models.
The team's primary home jersey will be white on white with Chihuahuas striped across the chest in red print and the alternate crossbones logo on the left sleeve. The ballcap will be black with the snarling Chihuahua primary logo on it. The road uniforms are gray with El Paso written across the chest in black, the primary logo on the sleeve, and a black cap with the letters EP. Alternate looks include a white pinstriped uniform, a red jersey with a spiked-collar Chihuahua swinging on the chest, and a black top with Chihuahuas printed in gold lettering.
The team sought both a classic look and "a lot of variety," El Paso president Alan Ledford told the El Paso Times. "We have different looks, and I think the fans will look forward to it. And I think the kids will love this.”
Appealing to their young fans was El Paso's objective when it settled on Chihuahuas after a name-the-team contest produced five finalists, including Aardvarks, Buckaroos, Desert Gators and Sun Dogs. The selection created plenty of local outcry and symbolized minor league baseball's recent trend toward outrageous team names. But it has also been a hit—the team reported brisk merchandise sales in its first 10 weeks of operation and says it has shipped orders to all 50 states.
"In just over two months our brand has gained fans in every state in the union," Chihuahuas general manager Brad Taylor said in a release last month. "We are fortunate to see so many people across the country latch onto our fun look so quickly. In every state, the spirit of El Paso is proudly represented."