Minor League Baseball announced a new initiative yesterday that celebrates “the culture and values that resonate most with participating teams’ local U.S. Hispanic/Latino communities.” La Copa de Diversión (the Fun Cup) will celebrate the fun of Minor League baseball by having teams rebrand themselves for select games in order to celebrate Hispanic and Latino culture in their respective cities.
Baseball itself is a huge part of Latin American culture. 31.9 percent of MLB players are of Latin American descent and you needn't look further than the Padres prospect list to find an incredibly diverse set of players from Latin America in Fernando Tatis, Jr., Luis Urias, Tirso Ornelas, and Adrian Morejon, among numerous others.
Running with the tagline ““Es Divertido Ser Un Fan” (It’s fun to be a fan) a whopping 33 minor league teams will sport a new look for a combined 160 games throughout the season. A three-foot tall cup will also make the rounds and tour each of the participating cities. Teams did indeed have fun in the redesigns and a few of our Padres minor league affiliates will join in rebranding for select games this season:
El Paso Chihuahuas
The El Paso Chihuahuas didn’t need to do much for their rebranding though they will be adding the “Los” title to their name. The team will also adopt the tricolor colors of the Mexican flag which will also adorn their sleeve alongside Old Glory.
Lake Elsinore Storm
The Lake Elsinore Storm will also sport the tricolor for their games but chose to go with their original name, which personally feels like kind of a letdown. Tormenta is the Spanish word for storm and feels ominous; I personally would have even suggested Sombra (word for shade) to describe the blacking out of the sun storm clouds causes. The cap is cool, though.
San Antonio Flying Chanclas
THIS IS THE MINOR LEAGUE HAT OF THE YEAR, CALLING IT NOW
The San Antonio Missions decided to go for it and have hit a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the 9th in game 7 of the World Series. Their rebranding is literally a flying flip-flop which to many children raised Latino (alongside many other ethnicities of course) is a sure sign that “you done goofed” and Nana knows. If the sight of a flying sandal doesn’t strike fear into the opposing team I’m not quite sure what will. The bright colors also celebrate the vibrant fiesta community of San Antonio. After this piece of art it’s a bit saddening that this will be the last season the Missions will be affiliated with the Padres.
I sorta wish Fort Wayne would have participated and became “Las Manzanas” or something. Even “Diablo de Polvo” for Tri-Cities would have been pretty cool.
The rest of the MiLB teams participating in the Copa de Diversion also have some fun new logos for the occasion:
While some are literal translations of their original names a few teams have gone in different directions: the Corpus Christi Hooks will be the Raspas (raspados, a popular shaved ice snack), the Inland Empire 66ers will become the Cucuys (the Spanish version of the boogeyman), and Leigh Valley will become the Tocinos (bacon). The Omaha Storm Chasers will be the Cazadores de Tormentas; maybe that explains why the Storm decided to go with their normal name (still don’t like it, though).
I know I’m looking forward to the hats dropping. Which redesigns are your favorite?