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Copa de la Diversion continues to rise
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Copa de la Diversion continues to rise

To grow the game of baseball in Latin American communities, Minor League teams participate in Copa de La Diversion.

MiLB teams continue to roll out new uniforms for Copa de la Diversion. But some people may wonder: what is this program? According to Minor League Baseball’s official website, “Copa de la Diversion,” or “Fun Cup,” is a season-long series of events specifically designed to embrace the culture and values ​​that resonate most with local teams of Minor League Baseball teams. American Hispanic Communities.”

And a majority of baseball fans are of Hispanic descent.

For more on Minor League Baseball experiences, check out Grace Hansen’s summer-long series.

But how does the Copa de la Diversion program connect with their fan bases? Let’s take a deeper look…

Copa de la Diversion program details

The Copa program has been part of Minor League Baseball since the 2017 season. However, the name Copa de la Diversion was only adopted in 2018. There are four important pillars under the Copa program.

Pillar One: “Increase the awareness, authentic engagement, and presence of U.S. Hispanics in their local communities.”

Pillar Two: “Embrace a culture that is passionate about baseball, family and fun by updating the baseball experience to align with the values ​​these fans hold most.”

Pillar Three: “Create and use culturally relevant on-field personas that authentically connect teams to their local American Hispanic communities.”

And Pillar Four: “Strengthen MiLB’s ongoing efforts, including diversifying the game and operations of baseball across the country.”

A select panel will choose a winner at the end of the season based on these criteria. Teams that make a concerted effort to connect with their local Spanish-speaking fan base will be rewarded.

2024 sees more growth in the program

Eight more teams will add new identities to the program in the 2024 season. That brings the total number of participating organizations to 94. While this article won’t fully cover all the new teams, it will highlight some new ones.

One of the new teams pays tribute to its history

One of the new participants in 2024 are the Buffalo Bisons, the Triple-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. And the Bisons’ identity in this program will be Luces de Buffalo, which translates to the Lights of Buffalo. The uniforms will be black instead of blue and red.

As the MiLB website notes: “The ‘Luces de Buffalo’ is a celebration of Buffalo’s historic role in the Pan-Americanist movement of the early 20th century and the Pan-American Exposition (World’s Fair) of 1901…The Taino Symbol of sun/light in the logo helps highlight the many Hispanic cultures that continue to shine in Western New York since the exhibition.

And since Buffalo is one of the largest metropolises on Lake Erie, Western New York has a lot of food history and unique connections to baseball. The bison have a long history worth celebrating.

The Delaware team is going back to its roots

The second new team to peak in 2024 is the Wilmington Blue Rocks, the High-A level of the Washington Nationals. Wilmington doesn’t venture far while also having a literal Spanish translation of their name. Meet Los Rocas Azules de Wilmington.

As the note reads: “Staying true to our roots, ‘Rocas Azules de Wilmington’ translates directly to ‘Wilmington Blue Rocks.’ The name Blue Rocks was originally chosen because of the blue granite found along the Brandywine River in Wilmington. Odes to this history can be found in the primary branding that gives the impression of blue rock, with the outline of the state of Delaware clearly visible in the ‘O’. The brand is tied together with the pickaxe at the bottom, which features a baseball bat handle! The white jerseys with rainbow lining stand out compared to their usual dark blue uniforms.

One of the originals salutes their population growth

One of the first teams to join the program is the Charlotte Knights. Charlotte, the AAA affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, introduced the Caballeros name when the program began in 2017. Although tied to a historical name, Spanish identity also salutes the rise of Charlotte. The largest city in North Carolina has grown so much that it may one day be home to an MLB team. For now, the Knights can celebrate their increase in local fans.

MiLB.com notes, “In tribute to the long-standing Knights nickname, Charlotte’s ‘Caballeros’ reflects the city’s Latino population, which has played a major role in the city’s massive population growth in recent years. Sharing a definition of ‘gentlemanly horseman,’ Caballeros fits seamlessly with the Queen City’s identity and the team’s future plans to celebrate Latino communities.” The green and yellow design is a significant departure from their standard light blue and black.

Final thoughts on Copa de la Diversion

With this new program in place, Copa de la Diversion is a great opportunity to invite more Spanish-speaking communities to take an interest in Minor League Baseball. More than 90 teams will be participating in 2024, and these are just a few of the unique identities.

This will be the first in a multi-part series documenting the teams participating in this year’s festivities. All teams compete for the Fun Cup. The winner of the Fun Cup trophy will demonstrate the best on-ball experience, community involvement and impact on philanthropy. The leading winners for three of the past five seasons have been the Albuquerque Isotopes. Their identity in the Copa de la Diversion program is Los Mariachis de Nuevo Mexico with a menacing skeleton musician as their logo.

Who will take home the cup in 2024? There is still plenty of season to play.

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Nate Powalie is a contributor to Back Sports Page. Nate is a 2022 graduate of Ashland University (Ashland, Ohio) and has five years of sportswriting experience. He has also had the opportunity to call sporting events for radio and livestream. Nate also works as a cashier and can be found on X (@PNate22) and Facebook (Nate Powalie).