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Art and sports ‘home run’ at the Harp Helú stadium

Art and sports 'home run' at the Harp Helú stadium

Mexico City. Three years after its inauguration, the Alfredo Harp Helú baseball stadium, located in the Magdalena Mixhuca Sports City, in the east of the country’s capital, is a “constant Christmas tree: with surprises everywhere.”

This is how the directors of the Diablos Rojos del México club describe the building designed by the architects Francisco González Pulido (FGP Atelier) and Alonso de Garay (ADG Taller) that today offers visitors, fans or not, the unique experience of living a spectacular afternoon between art and sport.

At the end of the main concourse, fans are greeted by the sculpture by Sergio Hernández that guards the lobby doors: he is a baseball devil, originally a crab that was transformed into a catcher with a mask, harness and glove, transfigured into an amulet that people they play to bring luck to their team or, why not?, to make a personal wish.

The Diablos Museum, next to the impressive structure of the stadium where volcanic rock pyramids are outlined, with its two temporary exhibition halls and 14 dedicated to showing the 82-year history of the scarlet team, is the preamble to the adventure.

“Hopefully the stadium becomes an icon of the city and is a must-see for those who like baseball and art. The visit to the museum is an experience, not just any tour; it is very attractive even for those who are not lovers of the King of sports. There are spaces for young people to take selfies; it is very visual, modern and technological, with graphics and videos”, he explained to the day Santiago Harp Grañén, vice president of the Diablos Rojos del México club and architect of the museum that consists of 2 thousand square meters.

A pair of sculptures by Leonora Carrington, The alien Y The insect, and then The Guardians, two huge warriors made by Sabino Guisú, who look like samurai as well as catchers, With macahuiles in hand, they begin the tour that can be guided by one of the seven sports reporters who serve the groups.

Among them is the chronicler Caro García, who narrated to the day the challenges of your job:

“It amazes me to learn by approaching art and culture, and being able to transmit the history of the team to the visitors, because we are aware that sometimes fans who know a lot come, we cannot deceive them, but those who do not know anything about baseball also arrive. and they have another vision of what a museum is. The purpose is that everyone leaves the venue in love.”

Caro considers that being a female chronicler in an environment in which the majority are men “is a constant struggle. She spent 12 years knocking on a thousand doors and doing what I’m passionate about. I have had grandmasters, and yes, it is a space dominated by men, but the presence of women in sports chronicles dates back to the 1940s. Before, there were no social networks that preserved those names, but there were pioneers. Just as I am, surely there are girls who, when listening to a broadcast, dream that they can do it.

“It has not been easy, but there has been hard work, without the intention of victimizing myself, but we know that we have to prove twice or five times that if we make a comment, it is because we have the knowledge.

The hand of a baseball player, made in clay by Víctor Vázquez. Photo Jose Antonio Lopez

“Perhaps there is some sector of the fans that finds it difficult to listen to a female voice, but it is part of everyday life. That’s why you have to put quality first over quantity; that is to say, yes, that more women chroniclers come, but that their preparation is the main thing.”

for the fans

The ideal is to arrive at the stadium two hours before the start of the game to be able to enjoy the Francisco Toledo exhibition and the one located in the first temporary room, made up of life-size clay ballplayers made by Víctor Vázquez, and a piece by the ceramic artist Adán Paredes, which consists of a belt with 322 bats and balls, all made of clay, hanging from the ceiling.

Then, in the permanent rooms of the museum, the Devils club’s own collection is exhibited. Harp Grañén stressed that one of the objectives of this space is “for fans to see how well preserved the collection that narrates the team’s 82 years is, so that they are also encouraged to share their jewels, since many of the pieces that are exhibited They were a gift from the fans, which gives them a special value.

“On the other hand, we got the championship trophies from the arrival of my father (Alfredo Harp Helú) to the team in 1994. The previous ones are not available; Instead of recreating them with old photos, which we do have, we wanted to do something different: 11 artists were invited to be inspired by how each championship was achieved; So, each piece means something specific to the year in which it was achieved, and each trophy is a work of art that adds to the history of the team’s triumphs. Each artist committed to the maximum, put on the team shirt.

“My goal as head of the team is to continue bringing trophies to that championship room, where we leave four empty spaces to motivate the players and let them see that we are ready to receive their triumphs and continue growing in history.”

Agustín Castillo, director of the Diablos Museum, said that every day they try to find formulas so that people who are not so used to art can connect with the works that are in every corner of the stadium. From the museum, to the sculptures and murals by Amador Montes or Demián Flores.

“We have a long list of several exhibitions to present in the temporary exhibition halls, for several years; For now, the teacher Toledo will be the whole season and without a doubt it is the jewel of jewels”, concluded Harp Grañén.

Start the match. The pitcher stands on the mound of responsibilities, the batter waves the baton. There is silence in the seats.

Roll the hot ball.

The Diablos Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, even if there is no game. Check schedules and costs on the page

At the entrance to the Diablos Museum, two warriors from Sabino Guisú greet visitors. Photo Jose Antonio Lopez.

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