Have you heard of Los Demonios de Des Moines, los Cascabeles de Wisconsin or los Elotes de Clinton? Sounds like a bunch of really cool names, but they are more than names. These are real Minor League Baseball (MiLB ) teams from across the country that change their team’s name for a couple of games to participate in the Copa de la Diversion (Fun Cup). Copa de Diversion is a series of events that runs all season long all over the US.
MiLB launched a test run for Copa de Diversion at the end of 2017 season. It was well received. For 2018 baseball season 33 different teams participated in this series. This year the number of participating teams reached 72 across all minor league levels. The Copa was started as a way to celebrate and engage the Hispanic communities across the country who enjoy baseball very much. In Des Moines, IA, the Iowa Cubs will change their team’s name to Los Demonios for three games on June 8, July 28 and August 25, 2019.
“They showed me the jersey [for Los Demonios],” Francisco Arcia, 29-year-old catcher from Venezuela who plays for the Iowa Cubs this season, said. “It is an honor to (celebrate) the Latinos among us here.”
Iowa Cubs did not always have this name. Between 1925-1937 and from 1959 to 1961 the team was called the Demons. Under this name in 1925 and 1926 the team became Western League Champions and in 1959 they won Three I-League title. Therefore, to celebrate the success of the past the Iowa Cubs took the Demons name and translated it into Los Demonios to be used for Copa de la Diversion. Even the new logo of los Demonios is an updated version of the Demons logo from the past. According to Iowa Cubs President Sam Bernabe, the purpose of using the updated logo and name for the Copa de la Diversion is “to showcase who we are as an organization and our history, while embracing local Hispanic culture in a new way.” Mr. Bernabe wants the fans of the team to know that they are committed to be a diverse team and this he believes will make the fans even more excited about baseball.
Not only fans are excited about the Copa and new baseball season this year. The Hispanic players of the Iowa Cubs are also very excited and happy to participate in the the Copa in their Demonios uniforms as well as to have a great season playing the game they love with the Iowa Cubs.
“It is gift from God and not everyone has the same chance to do this,” Vimael Mache, 25-year-old infield player from Puerto Rico, shared his feeling about being out in the field and doing what he loves the most. “It is a blessing from God as I always say.”
Dixon Machado, a 27-year-old shortstop player from Venezuela agrees with Mache.
“Things are going great [this season],” he said. “I am just enjoying the opportunity to play [baseball] every day.”
The players don’t just enjoy playing baseball they also work hard to improve their game and show more skill on the field for their fans’ enjoyment. Cristhian Adames, 27-year-old infield player from the Dominican Republic explained that he is training hard as well as learning from others.
“I am preparing myself to be ready when the team needs me. You have to be ready to help your team,” he said.
The first game for Los Demonios as part of Copa de la Diversion will be on June 8 and the players are getting ready to give it 100% for their fans. Mark your calendars and come out to support the players of the local team and celebrate the Hispanic community during Copa de la Diversion. The special games for Copa de Diversion under Los Demonios name will be on June 8, July 28 and August 25, 2019. For more information, tickets and merchandise of Los Demonios please go to www.milb.com/iowa/fans/copa
And if you don’t want to wait until June 8 for Los Demonios come on out to support them as the Iowa Cubs on their next home stand against Omaha May 11-14 or against New Orleans May 16-20 at Principal Park in Downtown, Des Moines.