The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes have been selected by Minor League Baseball as one of 22 teams across the country to join their Copa de la Diversión program beginning with the 2020 season.
"Copa de la Diversión," or "Fun Cup," is a season-long event series specifically designed to embrace the culture and values that resonate most with participating teams' local U.S. Hispanic/Latino communities.
After its test run with two teams (Las Vegas and Charlotte) in 2017, Copa de la Diversión began in earnest in 2018. The program grew in 2019, and is adding 22 additional teams in 2020, including the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes.
This program is designed to be an organic outreach program with the intent to bridge the gap between the Latinx community creating a decidedly more inclusive environment in the Stadium and in the community. Promoting and supporting the Hispanic culture in their ballpark, on specific nights - the Volcanoes will adopt a new identity themed around aspects of the Latino heritage that reflect both the spirit of the club and the community they represent. Sporting vibrantly colored uniforms and new logos, the Campesinos will take the field to Spanish music while fans will enjoy food, games and special guests that celebrate the Hispanic culture.
"Love them. Love spicing it up a bit," said Volcanoes' infielder Gio Brusa (2016) before taking the field this past season for the Las Ardillas Voladoras (Richmond Flying Squirrels). "We'll definitely take bigger crowds for it, and everyone seems real bought in. Look around and you see quite a few Ardillas hats and shirts. It's pretty cool." According to Anthony Oppermann, marketing director and public address announcer for the team, "It's been fun to see all the different fans coming in wearing Ardillas gear, not only on Ardillas nights, but on various nights throughout the course of the season," he said. "It's really resonating with kids."
"The fact that kids are loving the program made it resonate loudly with us," said Mickey Walker, CEO for the Volcanoes. "We can hardly wait to take the field as the Campesinos next season."
The first opportunity will be Sunday, June 21 - Father's Day! "We're expecting a Sell Out," commented Walker. "Our first Campesinos Night and on Father's Day - Wow!!"
5 additional Campesinos dates have been selected: Sunday's July 5, July 26 and August 16. Plus, Saturday's August 8 and September 5.
About the Campesinos: A tribute to their hard work, Salem-Keizer's "Campesinos" moniker pays tribute to the collective contributions of farm workers toward establishing Oregon as one of the leading agricultural regions in the United States.
"The Campesinos name, logos, wordmarks and "El Campo" symbol were developed and selected by members of our local Hispanic community including the Latino Business Alliance," said Mitche Graf, President of Business Operations for the Volcanoes. "That led us to something that is both exciting for our Hispanic fans -- I think even our non-Hispanic fans are going to be excited about this -- honoring our Hispanic community. We've been working on this since January," said Graf. "It's come together very nicely and I want to thank Everando "Eve" Castro of Solo Inc, in Woodburn for his compelling design work and Bo Lane along with Eric Fisk for helping continuously to move this process forward - we could not be happier with the work they and the committee accomplished."
"This will also provide our Latino players the opportunity to feel more comfortable and get acclimated quicker to their new surroundings. It's truly a win-win scenario for everyone," added Walker.
Minor League Baseball reports that attendance saw crowd's 24.4 percent larger on Copa de la Diversión Nights in 2019 and the new logos, unlike anything most Minor League teams had ever attempted before, became a merchandising sensation.
The Campesinos logos are displayed below. The Official on-field uniforms are in development and will be announced in Spring.