Kino Bambino
Kino Bambino, the Tucson Padres’ new mascot, will perform this Friday for opening night as well as at every Padres’ home game at Kino Stadium. courtesy photo

Tucson’s AAA minor league baseball team, the Tucson Padres, will play their first home game of the season this Friday at Kino Stadium, 2500 E. Ajo Way.

The Padres will face off against the Salt Lake Bees starting at 7 p.m.

The team won its season opener in Colorado last Thursday, against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, 18-14.

The San Diego Padres announced earlier this week they have recalled left-handed pitcher Wade LeBlanc from the Tucson Padres and optioned right-handed pitcher Samuel Deduno and outfielder Cedric Hunter to Tucson. 

LeBlanc becomes the first Tucson Padres player to be called to the Major Leagues.

The team also recently announced its mascot’s name, Kino Bambino, which was decided in a contest that hundreds entered. Tucson resident Andrew Jones created the winning name. Jones won four free tickets to the opening night game, a Tucson Padres cap and the opportunity to bring the Kino Bambino to an event of his choice.

“What can I say?” said the Kino Bambino. “I wandered through the desert, visited general manager Mike Feder’s office, and told him about my connection to the Padres. I said I was here to be the Tucson Padres’ mascot if he’ll take me.”

Said Feder, “We knew Major League Baseball’s best mascot (the San Diego Padres’ Swinging Friar) had an identical twin brother but we were unable to locate him until recently. This makes us even more excited for opening night, to know we have a family member of a nationally recognized mascot performing in Kino Stadium every game.”

Tickets are available at the Kino Stadium box office, by visiting www.tucsonpadres.com or by calling 434-1367.

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