El Pasoans know how to treat their Diablos players.
For years, fans would give Diablos players a little walking-around money by rewarding the players with $1 bills after hitting a homerun.
Now, El Pasoans are going a step futher. For the next three months 22 Diablos players will call the Sun City home, many choosing an El Paso family to come home to.
It’s the waiting game at the Tovar home as they wait for the newest member of the family to arrive.
“He called me and we started talking. He sounds like a pretty good guy,” Ferny Tovar said.
Tovar contacted the Diablos three weeks ago about hosting one of their players and they matched him with a 26-year-old outfielder originally from Arizona.
“A little bit nervous, but i’m excited.” That’s how Alberto Flores, one of Tovar’s nephews, describes the anticipation.
Another nephew, Christopher Keaton explains, “I really like baseball and I’ve never go to play, but I’ve always wanted to play and I’m hoping the he would be able to teach me more about it and how to play.”
The outfielder finally arrives, carefully maneuvering his sports car into the family driveway.
“How you doing?” Jonathan Reynoso asks as he enters the home sporting a Toronto Blue Jays baseball cap and red baseball T-shirt.
The Tovar family gives him a Texas-sized welcome.
“Welcome home, welcome home buddy!” Tovar says as he gives Reynoso a hug.
After a nearly 15 hour drive Reynoso exclaims, “It’s the only state where you drive 15 hours and are still in the same state. I’m just like, ‘Oh my goodness!'”
Ferny’s nieces and nephews are big baseball fans and the hope to get pointers from Jonathan, just as he’s looking forward to the El Paso family experience.
“I’m just like their big brother, so whenever they want to go outside, throw the ball around, then we’ll throw the ball around,” Reynoso said.
With a room to come home to, meals to share and kiddos to inspire, Reynoso explains he just want to “Be an example. Don’t do something I wouldn’t want these little guys doing so just being a good example. Being a good role model. You know?”
This isn’t Reynoso’s first time in El Paso. In the final two weeks of last season he was traded to the Diablos from the Shreveport Captains. He says he’s happy to be back.
“Hopefully, it’ll inspire the youngsters to do better in school because it’s going to get them somewhere,” says Tovar.
The Diablos open the season May 13 at Cohen Stadium.