The Fresno Tacos, alter ego of the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies, are at it again. The team unveiled this year’s uniforms for the their annual Taco Truck Throwdown on August 18. The uniforms feature the Tacos logo and orange numbers in a green outline on black jerseys. The most notable feature, though, is on the cap.
The cap’s brim features a pattern derived from serapes, tradition blankets with fringes on the end. Most notably, the pattern on each cap is unique—the serape pattern is different from cap to cap.
The Grizzlies also unveiled a name for their Taco-themed mascot, which, like the Tacos uniforms, was designed in-house. The name Cilantro Gomez (with the G of Gomez referencing the Grizzlies logo) was chosen in a fan vote.
The Grizzlies wore Tacos uniforms for the first time last year for their annual Taco Truck Throwdown event, which celebrates and brings together many of Fresno’s storied mobile taco vendors. Before the 2016 season, the team unveiled new Tacos uniforms to be worn on 10 Taco Tuesday promotional days this season. The unique uniform for the 2016 Taco Truck Throwdown is the third iteration of Tacos uniforms in two seasons, but the Grizzlies have no plans for a permanent name change.
“Last season, there was some speculation that we might become the Fresno Tacos permanently,” Grizzlies General Manager Derek Franks said when I talked to him before the season, “but to be sure, we’re prouder than ever of the Fresno Grizzlies.”
The Tacos promotion has been one of the most successful and most talked about in the minor the last few seasons, mostly on the strength of well-designed uniforms and a fun, appropriate alternate brand. While other teams like the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Lehigh Valley Cheesesteaks) and Brooklyn Cyclones (Coney Island Franks) will throw their names into the mix, the Fresno Tacos continue to set the bar for food-based alternate identities.