NEW YORK -- Minor League Baseball has unveiled the schedule of games and the 95 on-field Hispanic identities for this season’s Copa de la Diversión (or "Fun Cup") event series. Continuing its annual expansion into more communities, eight new teams joined Copa this season, with four teams returning with rebranded
NEW YORK -- Minor League Baseball has unveiled the schedule of games and the 95 on-field Hispanic identities for this season’s Copa de la Diversión (or "Fun Cup") event series. Continuing its annual expansion into more communities, eight new teams joined Copa this season, with four teams returning with rebranded personas.
The 405-game event series will kick off April 6 in Columbus, Ohio, with Nationwide returning as the Official Insurance Partner of the Copa initiative.
The eight MiLB teams joining Copa for the first time include the Augusta GreenJackets (Pavos Salvajes de Augusta), Beloit Sky Carp (Paletas de Beloit), Binghamton Rumble Ponies (Cóndores de Binghamton), Fredericksburg Nationals (Fundadores de Frederickburg), Lynchburg Hillcats (Limonadas de Hill City), Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Pensacola Pok-Ta-Pok), Rocket City Trash Pandas (Lunaticos de Rocket City), and Sugar Land Space Cowboys (Dulces de Sugar Land).
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Four teams -- the Cedar Rapids Kernels (Granos de Cedar Rapids), Daytona Tortugas (Rumberos de Daytona), Durham Bulls (Toros Bravos de Durham), and Reno Aces (Micheladas de Reno) -- return with all-new identities, while the Chattanooga Lookouts, El Paso Chihuahuas, and Fayetteville Woodpeckers are back with rebranded looks. The Lehigh Valley IronPigs added an additional Copa identity -- the Lehigh Valley Mamajuana -- for 2023.
Five clubs playing in MLB Partner Leagues will be part of the Copa fun in 2023, with the Boise Hawks (Boise Papas Fritas), Gateway Grizzlies (Oso Pardo de Gateway), Milwaukee Milkmen (Lecheros de Milwaukee), Rocky Mountain Vibes (Lloronas de Montaña Rocosa) and Tri-City ValleyCats (Los Puentes de Tri-City) joining the program.
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Through the success of the Copa program, now in its sixth season, MiLB has solidified its commitment to the long-term growth of its U.S. Latino/a communities and its diversity and inclusion efforts across the country. During the first five seasons of the initiative, Copa-designated games had a nearly 20% higher average attendance than non-Copa games, as teams extended their reach into local communities and partnered with more than 200 local Latino/a organizations on various events and charitable endeavors.
“The Copa de la Diversión initiative allows our teams to connect with the Latino/a population in their community in an authentic manner,” said Billy Bean, MLB’s Senior Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Special Assistant to the Commissioner. “The continued growth of this initiative reinforces the importance of connecting with our Latino/a fans and the Latino/a community, creating a deeper and more meaningful fan experience.”
“Nationwide is proud to support MiLB’s continued efforts to showcase the unique on-field Hispanic identities of the 95 participating clubs around the league, including our hometown Veleros de Columbus,” said Jim McCoy, associate vice president of Sports Marketing for Nationwide. “As an Official Partner of the Copa initiative, it’s great to see the continued expansion and elevation of the program that celebrates Hispanic culture at the ballpark and in the community.”
At the end of the season, a panel comprised of industry experts and civic leaders will recognize the top-performing teams in several categories, including ballpark experience, community engagement and philanthropic impact, and one team will be named the overall Copa de la Diversión champion with an award presented by Nationwide.
Previous winners include the Mariachis de Nuevo México (2018 and 2019), the Wepas de Worcester (2021) and the Soñadores de Hillsboro (2022). Last season, Nationwide included a $5,000 donation to Hillsboro to further amplify its efforts in the community.
For more information on Minor League Baseball’s Copa de la Diversión initiative and to purchase tickets or official merchandise, visit MiLB.com/copa.