Dodgers, Padres will play first regular season series in Mexico since 1999

Major League Baseball will return to Mexico in 2018.

On Monday, MLB announced the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres will play a three-game series at the Estadio de Béisbol Monterrey in Monterrey from May 4-6 next season. The Padres will be the home team.

"As a team with a bi-national fan base and reach that extends into Baja California and throughout Mexico, we are excited to once again play regular season games in Monterrey and help grow the popularity of our great game,"  said Padres COO Erik Greupner in a statement. "Baseball fans in Mexico are passionate about the game and we look forward to deepening our connection with them."

"The Dodgers are excited and extremely proud to be returning to Mexico as a team for the fourth time in our history," added Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten. "These games will also mark the first time that the Dodgers are playing regular season contests in Mexico, something long overdue, given our rich player history and strong community ties to the country. The Dodgers have always been at the forefront of growing the game of baseball internationally and this trip reinforces this commitment, while at the same time giving our many fans in Mexico a chance to see us compete."

The series will be the third ever regular season series played in Mexico, and the first since the Padres and Colorado Rockies opened the 1999 season in Monterrey. The Padres and New York Mets played a three-game set in Monterrey in 1996 as well. MLB has sent teams to Mexico for spring exhibition games in recent years, plus the country has hosted World Baseball Classic games as well.

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Former Padre and current Dodger Adrian Gonzalez will get to play a series in his home country next year. USATSI

Dozens of players from Mexico have reached the big leagues, most notably Dodgers legend Fernando Valenzuela and current Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. Oliver Perez, Jorge De La Rosa, Yovani Gallardo, Marco Estrada, Jaime Garcia, and Roberto Osuna are among the other notable Mexican born active big leaguers.

Estadio de Béisbol Monterrey is a 27,000 seat ballpark that opened back in 1990. It is home to the Sultanes de Monterrey, a Mexican League team, and the largest baseball stadium in Mexico. Both the 1996 Padres-Mets and 1999 Padres-Rockies series were played at the ballpark.

Last year MLB and the MLBPA announced plans for a series of regular season games at international venues from 2018-20. The Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians will play a series in Puerto Rico next April. Games are also tentatively scheduled to be played in the Dominican Republic and the United Kingdom in the future. Games could be played in Japan as well.

CBS Sports Writer

Mike Axisa joined CBS Sports in 2013. He has been a member of the BBWAA since 2015 and has previously written about both fantasy baseball and real life baseball for MLBTradeRumors.com, FanGraphs.com, RotoAuthority.com,... Full Bio

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