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Cup of Plenty: MiLB Drops a Whopping 72 Hispanic Unis

Let’s put it this way: If you don’t like it when teams simply call themselves Los Mets or El Heat for their Hispanic-outreach promotions, you’re going to love minor league baseball this year.

MiLB rolled out its Copa de la Diversión (Fun Cup) program yesterday, with participating teams getting Hispanic-themed makeovers for a handful of games this season. A whopping 72 teams are on board this year — up from 33 last year (which in turn was up from only four when the program debuted in 2017). Some of the holdover teams are just repeating their identities from last year, but it’s still an impressive amount of coordinated effort.

The good news is that I have all 72 teams listed in alphabetical order below, complete with their regular names, their new Spanish-language makeover names, and some sort of graphic showing the new identity. The bad news is that I relied exclusively on embedded tweets, which I realize isn’t ideal. Some of those tweets have little video clips, which I know some readers like more than others. In a perfect world, I would have used photos, not tweets, and I also would have provided translations for the Spanish team names, explanations for the team identities, and so on. But there wasn’t enough time for all of that — too many teams, too much data to process, too many other things I was busy with. Sorry!

Also: 72 embeds makes for a reeaaaallly long scroll. If you don’t want to deal with all of that, you can skip all of the embeds and jump to the next bit of text.

Okay, for those who are still with us, here we go:

Albuquerque Isotopes → Mariachis


Arkansas Travelers → Diamantes


Bowie Baysox → Cangrejos Fantasmas


Bradenton Marauders → Barbanegras


Brooklyn Cyclones → Jefes


Carolina Mudcats → Pescados


Charleston RiverDogs → Perros Santos


Charlotte Knights → Caballeros


Chattanooga Lookouts → Montañas


Clinton LumberKings → Elotes


Columbia Fireflies → Chicharrones


Columbus Clippers → Veleros


Corpus Christi Hooks → Raspas


Daytona Tortugas → Tortugas (yes, same name)


Delmarva Shorebirds → Gallos


Down East Wood Ducks → Patos Joyuyos


Durham Bulls → Mal de Ojo


El Paso Chihuahuas → Margaritas


Erie Seawolves → Piñatas


Eugene Emeralds → Monarcas


Everett AquaSox → Conquistadores


Florida Fire Frogs → Coquis


Fresno Grizzlies → Lowriders


Greensboro Grasshoppers → Ocelotes


Greenville Drive → Energía


Gwinnett Stripers → Xolos


Hartford Yard Goats → Chivos


Hickory Crawdads → Llamas


Hillsboro Hops → Soñadores


Inland Empire 66ers → Cucuys


Iowa Cubs → Demonios


Kane County Cougars → Cougars (yes, same name)


Kannapolis Intimidators → Rápidos


Lake County Captains → Picantes


Lake Elsinore Storm → Cadejos


Lakewood BlueClaws → Medusas


Lancaster JetHawks → Viento


Lansing Lugnuts → Locos


Las Vegas Aviators → Reyes de Plata


Lehigh Valley IronPigs → Coquis


Lexington Legends → Leyendas


Louisville Bats → Murciélagos


Memphis Redbirds → Música


Midland RockHounds → Matamoscas


Modesto Nuts → Alebrijes


Myrtle Beach Pelicans → Pelicanos


Nashville Sounds → Vihuelas


New Hampshire Fisher Cats → Gatos Feroces


Norfolk Tides → Pajaritos


Oklahoma City Dodgers → Cielo Azul


Omaha Storm Chasers → Cazadores de Tormentas


Pawtucket Red Sox → Osos Polares


Rancho Cucamonga Quakes → Tremblores


Reading Fightins → Peleadores


Reno Aces → Corazones


Richmond Flying Squirrels → Ardillas Voladoras


Round Rock Express → Chupacabras


Sacramento River Cats → Dorados


Salem Red Sox → San Bernardos


Salt Lake Bees → Abejas


San Antonio Missions → Chanclas


San Jose Giants → Churros


Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders → Vejigantes


Stockton Ports → Caballos


Tacoma Rainiers → Familia

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Trenton Thunder → Trueno


Tri-City Dust Devils → Vineros


Tulsa Drillers → Petroleros


Visalia Rawhide → Toros


West Michigan Whitecaps → Calaveras


Winston-Salem Dash → Rayados


Wisconsin Timber Rattlers → Cascabeles


Obviously, that’s a shitload of content to process. And as you’d expect, the quality is all over the map — some of the concepts are pretty good, others seem perfunctory at best (with my own Brooklyn Cyclones falling into the latter category, alas). Some of it feels like Brandiose-por-numeros, while others made me smile — quite a bit, in some cases.

But here’s what I’m curious about: How do Hispanic fans feel about it? I know we have Hispanic readers here on Uni Watch — I’d love to hear what you have to say about all this. Do you feel these uniforms properly celebrate your culture, as is their stated purpose? Do they make you feel proud? Do you feel they reduce your culture to a cartoon? Is it important to you for teams to make this sort of outreach at a time when Hispanic immigration is a hot-button topic in American life? Do you feel like it’s all just a merch dump? If you knew who the designers were, would it matter to you whether they were Hispanic?

I want to make it clear that I don’t mean for any of those to be leading questions. As a white guy who’s retained shamefully little of my high school Spanish, I don’t feel like I’m in a good position to assess this program. We could all learn from those of you who are.

Meanwhile, here’s a weird footnote: The Down East Wood Ducks, who are one of the Spanish-makeover teams, also decided to unveil a throwback yesterday:

Looks so sedate after all of the Copa designs, right? Naturally, I like this one the best, what with the green color scheme, the old-timey mascot character, and so on. Go Collard Greens!

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Do the Trappist monks know about this? With Opening Day barely a week away, Ballast Point Brewing in San Diego has released a new Padres-themed brew called Swingin’ Friar Ale. As you can see above, they utilized the team’s original brown/yellow color scheme and even added this season’s 50th-anniversary logo — nice.

Two thoughts here:

1. I always thought the proper term was Swinging Friar, without an apostrophe — not Swingin’. I’ve been using the g-inclusive version for years. But some quick Googling reveals that both terms are used pretty widely. So I asked Padres radio broadcaster Jesse Agler, who happens to be a longtime Uni Watch reader, to weigh in on this important matter. He responded almost immediately:

Great question! I thought for sure it was Swinging. But before responding, figured I would check. And our head of content (who knows everything and is trustworthy) told me it’s Swingin’. Learn something new every day!

So there you go. I’ve been getting it wrong all these years and didn’t even realize.

2. Close inspection reveals that this beer is a “hoppy pale ale.” Come on, people — fans have been clamoring for the brown, the team is finally bringing back the brown, you put lots of brown in the package design — this should be a brown ale! I mean, really.

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Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

Take a look at this 1950s NHL board game! This game, which is from Copp Clark, features the Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs and looks to be in fantastique shape. Look how terrific those players look in their uniforms!

Now for the rest of this week’s picks:

• This may be one of the greatest program covers I’ve ever seen: It’s for the 1969 NBA All-Star Game, East vs. West, Jan. 14, 1969, at the Baltimore Civic Center. The East won, 123-112, and you can check it out right here. Just look at this artwork! This one screams Peter Max, or Age of Aquarius, or … something. Any way you look at it, this program cover is downright funky.

• In the 1940s, the Pittsburgh Pirates’ logo was a tad more ferocious, as seen on this pennant.

• This is a 1950’s hockey “Surprise Package.” Terrific Hockey Prizes and bubble gum- just a nickel!

• A little late for St. Patrick’s Day, but appropriate anyway — this 1960s Boston Celtics World Champions beer glass.

• Here’s a 1970s zip-front Denver Broncos sweater from Van Heusen. Sure looks like the Sears NFL Shop to me!

• Another one for the Broncos: this 1970s scarf featuring their classic jumping-horse logo.

• This 1970s vinyl MLB rain jacket also includes Nolan Ryan’s signature above the MLB batter logo for some reason.

• I’d normally say this is a 1970s Cleveland Browns helmet bank, but the makers decided to call it a “Gift Bank.” Here’s another version for the Cowboys.

• You can’t miss with these 1970s NFL helmet thermal mugs. I’ve got one and love it; you get a set of six in this auction!

• This 1930s Brooklyn Dodgers at Pittsburgh Pirates game program was just ten cents!

Seen an item on eBay that would be good for Collector’s Corner? Send any submissions here.

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rafflet ticket by ben thoma.jpg

Raffle reminder: In case you missed it on Monday, we have a new raffle from Homefield Apparel, which specializes in T-shirts and hoodies from smaller schools– mid-majors, DII, even DIII. Two lucky Uni Watch readers will each get to choose any item from Homefield’s site.

To enter, send an email to the raffle address by this Thursday, March 21, 7pm Eastern. One entry per person. I’ll announce the winners on Friday.

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LAST CALL for the Wafflebored jersey: Today is the final day to bid on the one-of-a-kind Uni Watch jersey made by the awesome Wafflebored. Full details, including a rear-view photo, the jersey’s measurements, how to bid on it, and more, can be found here.

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Too good for the Ticker: Back in the 1920s, wing walkers — aerial daredevils who’d stand on the wings of airplanes — were popular entertainers. One famous group of wing walkers were the 13 Black Cats, who as you can see above had some absolutely killer uniforms. Now that would be a cool sweater to reproduce!

(My thanks to reader Graham Clayton for this one.)

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KRC update: The latest installment of Key Ring Chronicles is uni-related, as it’s about a collection of NFL jersey key rings. Check it out here.

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The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball NewsNo photos, but Red Sox 3B prospect Rafael Devers forgot his No. 11 jersey and briefly wore No. 84 yesterday before switching back when his jersey arrived (from Jeff). … A television station in North Carolina caught up with the man who Red Sox OF Jim Rice saved as a boy after he was hit by a foul ball at Fenway Park (from Marcus Hall). … John V. spotted this old Nolan Ryan display ad for Southwest Airlines on a neighbor’s curb, so he took it home. … I’m not quite sure where this particular Michael Jordan statue stands, but someone dressed it up in a Jim Thome White Sox jersey (from Michael Alper). … In addition to unveiling their Copa de la Diversión identity, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers unveiled four other specialty uniforms they’ll wear this season (from Brian Kerhin). … William Hart’s great-grandfather played for the Detroit Tigers in 1927, and William found a couple of portraits of him from his playing days. … The Astros’ first cap, which debuted 54 years ago yesterday, just had an orange star, without the “H” that was later added (from @bryant_rf).

Hockey NewsGreat news out of Calgary, where the flames will wear their throwback jerseys throughout the playoffs, and there are rumors that the team will begin wearing a retro look full-time by 2020-21. … The Blackhawks will be wearing warmup jerseys with season ticket holders’ faces for their final game of the 2018-19 season (from Michael Alper). … The Tucson Roadrunners of the AHL will begin wearing alternate uniforms inspired by Arizona’s “Peyote Coyote” uniforms next season (from Joe Nocella and Adam Vitcavage).

Basketball News: We already have a look at the “Final Floor!” The court for the Final Four in Minneapolis is already in place (from Josh Hinton). … Forty-eight percent of the teams in this year’s tournament wear Nike uniforms (not including Jordan), which is tops among all companies (from Scott M. Trembly). … Speaking of the tournament, Brandon Wright-Rowan is putting together a uniform tracker that he’ll update throughout March Madness. … MassLive.com ranked all the mascots in the NCAA tournament from “worst to first” (from Andrew Cosentino). … Also from Andrew — Auburn should be proud of their accomplishments this season (also from Joel Mathwig). … Nuggets G Isaiah Thomas used to play for the Celtics, and he wore green and gold sneakers for his first game back in Boston on Monday (from Brad Tatum).

Soccer NewsApparel company Givova has corrected the shade of red for the Venezuelan national team’s uniforms after an outcry from fans (from Josh Hinton). … This piece explains why Liverpool CB Virgil van Dijk only wears “Virgil” on his NOB (also from Josh Hinton). … Check out the Polish national team modeling uniforms from the 1920s and 1930s (from Ed Zelaski). … Minnesota United FC’s new stadium has a clock and scoreboard that pays tribute scoreboard at the National Sports Center, where the NASL’s Minnesota Kicks used to play (from Sauna Insider). … Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how FC Cincinnati supporters made the large tifo that they unfurled prior to the team’s MLS home opener on Sunday.

Grab BagPitt has confirmed that the cryptic date they tweeted last week is a “Nike reveal.” You’d think a potential change in school colors would be a “Pitt reveal,” but I digress (from Noah Kastroll). … Keith Winney found this bedsheet with the helmet of every NFL team, at a friend’s house dated 1995. … Team Canada has new curling uniforms for the World’s Women Curling Championships (from Wade Heidt). … This is an unfortunate typo from the city of Kansas City (from Andrew Cosentino). … The Indoor Football League uniform tracker has been updated through week 4 (from ‏ @LWOS_IndoorFB). … Interesting piece here on the black turtleneck as a work “uniform” (from Jason Hillyer).

Comments (52)

    I would be interested to see what 72 Mexican minor league teams would come up with for American heritage.

    Yikes.

    That’s the original Jordan statue “The Spirit”, it’s inside now in a new Atrium built at the United Center. The Blackhawks were honoring Jim Thome last night at their game. (Why? Beats me!)

    Collector’s Corner:
    The shirt underneath the Denver Broncos sweater is from Van Heusen, not the sweater itself (and the sweater is probably not from Starter, as stated in the Item Specifics listing…Sears is my guess too).

    Nope. It’s just a BS way to sell some ugly ball caps. I’m glad my hometown team the Indianapolis Indians don’t appear to be taking part in this crapfest.

    Not just caps, but an array of merchandise. I was surprised last season to see how many people were wearing Osos Polares T-shirts and sweatshirts while at a game in Pawtucket. People seem to have unlimited amounts of money to spend, which is why MILB teams keep putting out more stuff.

    https://www.milb.com/fans/about-copa

    According to this link, it looks like teams will try to “best achieve the primary objectives of the Copa de la Diversión event series”

    So while not a traditional tournament, they are still competing against each other?

    I’d like to think MiLB is sincerely expressing appreciation for the contribution Latinos have made to baseball and to the fabric of the United States but the cynic in me says it’s just part of their unofficial slogan “Minor Leagues Baseball-Come for the Theme Nights & Promotions, Stay for the Merchandise.”

    I confess-I’d rather see a promotion like this than another Star Wars or SpongeBob night.

    Is it me, or does the majority of these hats / logos / colors look like the inside of your local Mexican eatery that perpetuates even more stereotypes of Mexicans…but it’s all in fun, right?

    I am Dominican American from New York. Sometimes with events like these it feels half thought. I understand why most of these are Mexican based, but that is a lot of day of the dead references. A chihuahua with
    Maracas? Jesus that is rough. If you want to make it Hispanic, just change your name to its Spanish translation (I don’t mean adding Los) The coquis are clearly Puerto Rican, but they are not blurring the line of appreciation and mockery (again those peppers are not right) we have enough Hispanic ball players just ask them what they think of some of these designs. Last thought, you could take references from
    Hispanic ball clubs or even scroll through Ebbets Field Flannel for some historic teams.

    I’d love to know who designed all of the logos. I know Brandiose did a ton, Studio Simon did some (or at least one…?), and MiLB’s in-house team did some as well. But I’d love a comprehensive list if at all possible.

    Where is all the anger about the obvious merch money grab? Some of these logos [look to be] as offensive as Chief Wahoo. When the NFL does a “color rush” a “salute to service” or a “find a cure” promotion and they produce merchandise for it, all I read here is negativity and hate.

    Double standard?

    These are all over the place, but there are a couple of things I noticed:
    1) a lot of the designs are styled in the día de muertos style of drawing patterns inside the skull (in this case in the logo), which isn’t bad, but the MiLB season probably won’t last until día de muertos (november). I find this a little bit lazy.
    2) i don’t find any of these offensive, it is similar to what Mexican LMB teams do.
    3) The best one is San Antonio Flying Chanclas (in the text only says Chanclas). The inside joke is that a flying chancla is the Mexican mothers’ projectile of choice when you are trying to escape. Mexican mothers don’t miss when they throw a chancla.
    4) Elotes is also a good one. The addition of the mayo and chili powder on the corn cob makes you realize the design team was going for the snack that is widely sold in Mexican plazas and not just corn.
    5) Jefes is interesting as the translation is Chiefs, like Kansas City. However, we use it as slang for boss or someone who is an expert.
    6) if it is a league wide exercise, there should only be one team named Coquis.
    7) should these be designed by Hispanics, maybe, but as long as there is a Hispanic consultant on the team, I think it is OK.
    8) lowriders are part of Hispanic culture in the US (like Cinco de Mayo) but not widely done in Mexico (not sure about other countries but I’m pretty sure also a no).

    Is the chancla offensive or insensitive? What if a hat included a belt alluding to a parent whipping their kid? I don’t think that would fly and would probably be considered to be glorifying corporal punishment. Is a chancla considered not as bad because it’s not causing as much pain?

    That would be like an Irish-American kid being offended by a team called the wooden spoons.

    My half Mexican wife says you’re not a real Mexican unless you’ve been hit by a chancla. She also said they were hurled with “world class precision.”

    “Another one for the Broncos: this 1970s scarf featuring their classic jumping-horse logo.”

    Never in my life have heard, nor have I thought, of the word “jumping” to describe the horse in this Broncos logo.

    bucking – although I would change that first letter as a frustrated youth in the 70s when that was the only logo available to fans. I wanted something more authentic as that logo wasn’t the one worn on the field

    “Keith Winney found this bedsheet with the helmet of every NFL team, at a friend’s house dated 1995. …”

    The fact that every team name is printed in Blue really bothers me.

    Some are creative , my favorites are the direct (ish) translations. The ones that made me cringe was Flying Chanclas and Matamoscas. If the people that worked on those 2 were Hispanic I’m fine with it, means we’re in on it. But if not…yikes.

    As a Latino baseball fan, I LOVE these designs! Yes, they’re cartoonish, but minor league teams always have wacky nicknames anyway, and I love the way they’re celebrating Latino culture in that same way. The only thing I don’t love: how poor I’m going to be after buying all these hats!

    “Obviously, that’s a shitload of content to process.”… Or, that’s a shitload of content to scroll past.

    Why have nicknames at all, if you’re going to call yourselves whatever you want whenever you want?

    OK, back to yelling at clouds…

    Lee

    Or, that’s a shitload of content to scroll past.

    Which is why I included a link near the top that allowed you skip the scrolling and just jump past all the embeds.

    Can someone clarify this:
    “Minnesota United FC’s new stadium has a clock and scoreboard that pays tribute scoreboard at the National Sports Center, where the NASL’s Minnesota Kicks used to play”

    OK, the Minnesota Kicks of the old NASL (late 1960s-1981) played in Bloomington, at Metropolitan Stadium.
    The reformed NASL (I don’t know the exact years) had a Minnesota team play at the National Sports Center in Blaine MN, but they were called the Stars.
    A team called the Thunder also played at the National Sports Center, but in the USL.

    Is there a team I am missing called the Minnesota Kicks that played at the National Sports Center in Blaine?

    That’s my understanding of the pro soccer scene in Minnesota before the current Minnesota United FC, who play in St. Paul.

    Lee

    Say what you will about those uniforms, but anything is better than sewing “Los Manineros” or “Los Dodgers” on an existing uniform.

    Living in the UK I don’t really understand all the theme nights. Do MiLB struggle to draw in a crowd so much that these promotions affect the gate that much?

    I’d love to know how much a team’s revenue is driven by ticket sales and how much by merchandise sales. Certainly the bottom line can only be enhanced when you get hundreds of fans to shell out $35-$40 for each new hat, shirt, etc.

    I don’t quite get why my local RiverDogs are going with “Perros Santos” rather than “Perros de los Ríos.” One of Charleston’s monikers is “The Holy City,” of course … but it’s still curious that the team didn’t do a direct translation.

    Forgive me, Paul, for I have sinned against Uni-Watch. I know this is a shameless attempt to get me to buy stuff. And I want to! I want to make the 3-hour drive to see the Chanclas play now. And I really want an Elotes hat!

    Regarding the NFL helmet sheets – I had them. Was 8 year old. Technically that NFL didn’t exist, because the Colts changed from a white facemask in 1994 to blue in 1995. Since the correct Panthers and Jaguars are both included, one can assume these were printed for the 1995 season but missed on the Colts’ change.

    The first 10-15 were fun/interesting, less so as it went on and on.

    I’m a Uni-Watcher of Hispanic heritage – which is whatever – but I feel this is way overkill. We Hispanics love fiesta colors, don’t you know. And Day of the Dead, apparently.

    I don’t feel I need these types of promos to “connect” to the game, any more than I feel I need “somebody who looks like me” in the movies. I just need better movies/more interesting baseball. Etc.

    I like llamas. They’re the office mascot, as we are trying to avoid drama. So my interest in these increased dramatically when I saw the Hickory, which I promptly ordered because, well, llamas and baseball.

    What’s neat about West Michigan’s design is that it works in the area code — 616– with the eyes. I can’t see buying one of these despite it being the local team. I didn’t buy one of the Bung Hammer caps the team came up with last year. (It’s a beer barrel thing, and Grand Rapids is Beer City.)

    But llamas? I’m all in.

Comments are closed.