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For El Paso Sports Fans, An Evening Of Healing At The Ballpark

Norma Martinez
Texas Public Radio
The first pitch is thrown at Southwest University Park on August 8th, 2019.

Just over 6,000 fans gathered at Southwest University Park Wednesday evening to cheer on their beloved Triple-A team, the Chihuahuas, as they took on the Round Rock Express.

Before the national anthem, the Chihauhaus held a moment of silence for the 22 people who died in Saturday's shooting at a local Walmart. The team also honored Robert Evans, the manager of that Walmart.

Evans said he was glad the team went forward with their game as scheduled, four days after the shooting.

“I feel it’s good. It brings us together,” Evans said. “And not to forget, but it gives us a sense of relief. It brings a sense of confidence, being able to participate in public events, things of that nature. Sit down and watch a baseball game, relax with your family, friends. I think it really kind of nurtures your mind and helps in the healing process as well.”

Fans who made it here had to deal with the extra traffic and chaos that came with President Trump’s visit. But for John Evans, it was worth it. He got here early with his family. 

“We still need to move on. We’re not going to stop doing the things that we used to do, we’re accustomed to doing in El Paso,” he said. “It was a tragedy but yet, life goes on. You’ve got to keep moving.”

For Russell Johnston, this was his first Chihuahuas game. He’s here from Virginia visiting friends and he’s been impressed with the resolve of El Pasoans.

“This is the same thing that happened after 9/11,” he said. “There’s a lot more precautions after 9/11, but you’ve got to carry on life.”

The El Paso Chihuahuas went on to lose to the Round Rock Express 20 - 12 but for many of the people who made it out, it was one step closer to normalcy.