Minor League Baseball’s successful Copa de la Diversión (Fun Cup) program, in which teams reimagine their brands in the Spanish language and in the traditions of Latin communities, has grown to more than twice its previous size this season. The program began with just four teams in 2017, jumped to 33 last year, and this season 72 of the 160 affiliated teams will participate.
Today is unveil day, and MiLB is rolling out the identities. Below are the first half of the brands to be released. For part 2, click here.
Diamantes de Arkansas (Arkansas Travelers)
According to local lore, Diamantes is a baseball player who vanished searching for diamonds.
Cangrejos Fantasmas de Chesapeake (Bowie Baysox)
One of the more popular brands from last year, the name is the Spanish translation of “Atlantic Ghost Crab,” a recent discovery in the Chesapeake Bay.
Bradenton Barbanegras (Bradenton Marauders)
The Spanish nickname translates to “Black Beards,” and is intended to connect the Hispanic community to Florida’s history of conquistadors and other sea-based adventurers.
Brooklyn Jefes (Brooklyn Cyclones)
The team said it best when they unveiled this logo last year: “The name Jefes, or bosses, was chosen as a nod to the air of confidence that is synonymous with the people of Brooklyn.”
Pescados de Carolina (Carolina Mudcats)
The Mudcats replace their living catfish logo with a “sugar skull” fish that the team will use in conjunction with its Día de Los Muertos celebrations.
Perros Santos de Charleston (Charleston Riverdogs)
The “Holy City” rebrands its Riverdogs as the “Holy Dogs”
Caballeros de Charlotte (Charlotte Knights)
This is a direct translation—and the Knights are the first team to rebrand their Copa identity. The Knights went as the Caballeros de Charlotte last year, but with a different logo.
Montañas de Chattanooga (Chattanooga Lookouts)
The Lookouts are named for nearby Lookout Mountain, hence the Spanish-language “Mountains of Chattanooga.”
Clinton Elotes (Clinton Lumberkings)
Elotes are an amazing corn-based street food popular in Mexico. While the Lumberkings nickname is based on another industry, Elotes bridges the gap between the agriculture in Iowa and the Hispanic community.
Chicharrones de Columbia (Columbia Fireflies)
Columbia may have tired of being named for a delicate insect, because their Spanish-language brand is based on deep-fried pork rinds.
Veleros de Columbus (Columbus Clippers)
This is a direct translation of the Clippers nickname, the ship Columbus used to cross the Atlantic.
Tortugas de Daytona (Daytona Tortugas)
Since the name is already in Spanish, the reordering of the words in the team name is more a celebration of Spanish grammar
Gallos de Delmarva (Delmarva Shorebirds)
The rooster is a wink and a nod to the thriving poultry industry in Maryland. Also, per the team, it’s “a majestic animal in which the crowning at dawn of each morning symbolizes the daily triumph of light over darkness and the victory of good over evil.”
Patos Joyuyos de Down East (Downeast Wood Ducks)
This is a direct translation.
Mal de Ojo de Durham (Durham Bulls)
Merging the Bulls’ snorting bull with Latin tradition, the “evil eye” is one of the best new brands in the program.
Coquís de Florida (Florida Firefrogs)
One of two teams called Coquís this year, this is a reference to the frog featured in Florida’s logo.
Ocelotes de Greensboro (Greensboro Grasshoppers)
The Grasshoppers have rebranded with an amazing logo that depicts an ocelot. (Every year there are a couple logos that could be permanent rebrands, and in my mind this is one of them!)
Energía de Greenville (Greenville Drive)
You need “Energy” to have “Drive.”
Xolos de Gwinnett (Gwinnett Stripers)
The nickname is short for Xoloitzcuintli, the national dog of Mexico.
Demonios de Des Moines (Iowa Cubs)
Spanish for Demons, the team name is close to the Cubs’ hometown of Des Moines and references a previous minor league team to call the city home named the Des Moines Demons.
Chivos de Hartford (Hartford Yard Goats)
Chivos are literal kind of goat, rather than the locomotive-based one that the team name is based on.
Llamas de Hickory (Hickory Crawdads)
The Crawdads went with an animal meant to represent strength and unity, and have included a furniture leg in its mouth to represent the local industry.
Soñadores de Hillsboro (Hillsboro Hops)
Spanish for “Dreamers,” the nickname reflects the aspirations of minor league ballplayers.
Kane County Cougars
Not much need to explain, though the team does: “The Cougars’ moniker remains as it already represents the entire Kane County region: a fierce North, Central and South American wild cat found everywhere from Canada to Argentina.”
Rápidos de Kannapolis (Kannapolis Intimidators)
Rápidos translates to “fast ones,” a reference to Dale Earnhardt Senior, the inspiration for the original team name.
Picantes de Lake County (Lake County Captains)
The chile pepper featured in the logo is meant to represent the spicy side of the Cleveland suburb where the Captains play.
Medusas de Lakewood (Lakewood BlueClaws)
Lakewood traded one sea critter for another. This species of jellyfish, per the team, has “five tentacles to represent strength, faith, trust, family and acceptance found within the LatinX community.”
Locos de Lansing (Lansing Lugnuts)
The double entendre of Lugnuts representing a certain amount of craziness has taken on a literal turn here, with a wacky, cross-eyed Patoo bird.
Coquís de Lehigh Valley (Lehigh Valley IronPigs)
The IronPigs went with Coquís as a tie to the local Puerto Rican population in eastern Pennsylvania.
Música de Memphis (Memphis Redbirds)
The Spanish name highlights the musical note featured in the Redbirds’ Creamer-award winning identity
Pajaritos de Norfolk (Norfolk Tides)
Spanish for “baby birds,” Pajaritos is a tie to the Tides’ parent club in Baltimore. The birdie is holding in its mouth the word “suerte,” or luck.
Gatos Feroces de New Hampshire (New Hampshire Fisher Cats)
A Fisher Cat is not actually a cat, but nonetheless, New Hampshire’s Spanish-language identity features the Mesoamerican legend of Balam, the jaguar.
Osos Polares de Pawtucket (Pawtucket Red Sox)
Per the team,”Pawtucket polar bear mascots ‘Paws’ and ‘Sox’ have delighted a generation of PawSox fans through loving gestures and good deeds, despite a verbal communication barrier between them and the community. In the same vain, Pawtucket sought to include LatinX fans with similar language barriers, leading the “Osos Polares” identity to represent how discrepancies in communication should not exclude anybody from the ballpark.”
Ardillas Voladoras de Richmond (Richmond Flying Squirrels)
Richmond’s superhero mascot Nutzy now wears a luchador mask.
Abejas de Salt Lake (Salt Lake Bees)
Abejas is a direct translation of Bees, with an updated logo that reflects the LatinX communities.
Trueno de Trenton (Trenton Thunder)
A direct translation.
And now a handy all-in-one graphic showing the first batch of logos unveiled so far:
And the caps! The glorious caps (more detail on these later)