Central California is the self-proclaimed birthplace of the taco truck, and to celebrate that local history, the Fresno Grizzlies, Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros, will take to the field as the Fresno Tacos for one game this summer.
For four years, the Fresno Grizzlies’ Taco Truck Throwdown has been one of the team’s biggest promotions of the season—at last year’s event, more than 27,000 tacos were sold by taco truck vendors from around the San Joaquin Valley. Until this year, the promotion was kept off the field, but that’s all about to change with the fifth annual Taco Truck Throwdown on August 6, when the Grizzlies take the field against the Albuquerque Isotopes in green, orange, and white taco-themed jerseys.
Having the team wear the taco-themed hats and jerseys, which were designed by the Grizzlies’ in-house graphic designers Dorian Castro and Andy Inman, allows the Grizzlies to combine the ingredients of a team promotion and their local community with the game on the diamond, and then wrap them all up in some kind of delicious, crispy, corn-based container.
The promotion is getting a huge reaction online, but for the team, the event is about more than just a whimsical (and awesome) wacky uniform.
“This isn’t a gimmick theme jersey like most you see,” Young said. “Taco Trucks have a long history in the Valley and we thought this served as a way for us to honor that heritage.”
Yahoo! Sports writer Mike Oz, who helped create the Taco Truck Throwdown back in 2011, wrote about the event, “For me, Taco Truck Throwdown is a way to highlight our community here in Fresno, an ag-rich area with a huge Latino population that makes it one of the country’s top food producers.”
There have been a million cheesy templated theme jerseys in minor league baseball, but the Fresno Tacos uniforms are a resounding win—not just because they’re fun and unique, but because they tap into an important aspect of the local community and an already-popular promotion at the ballpark. Also, they make us want tacos. Lots and lots of tacos.