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Rieleros de Aguascalientes 14

Posted 2019 August 29

Back in 1880, some people in Massachusetts got an idea. Why don't we build a train in Mexico? Specifically, why don't we build a train that will connect Mexico City with El Paso, at which point it can connect with some American railroads? Thus the Mexican Central Railway was born. A bunch of Americans went down to work on the railroad alongside the locals. And in the town of Aguascalientes, the American workers liked to spend their free time playing baseball. It wasn't long before Mexican railroad workers got in on the fun (no, this was not how baseball got introduced to Mexico; it was already there by this point). Soon Sunday games between the American railroad workers and the Mexican railroad workers became a thing; depending on how you care to spin this you can see this either as an early version of the Olympics or the horrors of Jim Crow "separate-but-equal" brought south of the border. Or you can quit trying to politicize everything and just figure they did it that way because it was less stressful than picking captains every time and having poor Sherman Shortlegs from Shreveport get picked last week after week.

Anyway, the game between the Americans and the Mexicans became a weekly event. And before long people living in Aguascalientes were showing up to watch the game (and probably to point and laugh at poor Sherman). In 1930 a local amateur team called los Caldereros (Boilermakers) formed.

In 1975, the city finally got a team in the Mexican League. Owners asked the locals what they thought of calling the team either los Gallos (Roosters) or los Toros (Bulls). The locals were underwhelmed. Then someone (I'm not sure if it was someone with the team or not) suggested los Rieleros (Railers or Railroaders), and everyone agreed it was a good name, so here we are. Given the history of baseball in town, I'm not inclined to say they were wrong. The 1975 incarnation of los Rieleros lasted until 2008, at which point they moved to Nuevo Laredo. Moving to Nuevo Laredo probably wasn't a wise move since they moved from there to Carmen in 2011. And since they moved from Carmen to Durango in 2017, moving to Carmen probably wasn't that wise a move, either. In any case, the current incarnation of los Rieleros joined the league as in 2011 when los Dorados de Chihuahua relocated to Aguascalientes. And since they're still here, that probably was a wise move.

But only probably. Los Rieleros almost folded after the 2018 season. Go check out my review of los Bravos de Léon, if you're interested; I don't feel like typing it all out again.

Anyway, given the name, los Rieleros' logo is straightforward, if uninspired: a train in the foreground, a baseball in the background, and the team's name in script toward the bottom. It's not going to win any awards, but nor is it likely to get singled out as the worst logo in baseball (or even in Mexican baseball) anytime soon. Then again, I'm sure the fans would rather have an award for winning the season. Or just a guarantee that the team will still be there.

Final Score: 14 points.
Penalties: Script, 7 pts; Equipment, 13 pts.
Bonuses: Local, -6 pts.

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