COLUMBUS (WCMH) –This Columbus Clippers season is going to be a fiesta.
A new season means a new look for the Columbus Clippers as the baseball team turns into the Columbus Veleros.
For the next 11 Friday home games, the Columbus Clippers will become the Veleros de Columbus.
“We need to be inclusive of all the demographics and our community,” said Ken Schnacke, President and General Manager of the Columbus Clippers.
For the third year in a row, Minor League Baseball has implemented Copa de la Diversion, also known as the “Fun Cup”.
For Columbus, coming up with a nickname was a little tricky.
“As we explored what Clippers meant in Spanish it was all nail clippers and I couldn’t come up with anything that I thought would be ferocious,” said Schnacke. “A couple of people helped us and we came up with the Veleros which is the Sailboats.”
The Veleros are a huge hit with the Latin community.
“The minute that we saw caps and the jerseys and t-shirts we were really excited and proud. Those colors are so vibrant and energetic and they actually represent our Latin culture,” said Estela Salaman, with the Hispanic Chamber of Columbus.
The jerseys are inspired by the Pirates of Caribbean movies. The V in Veleros is the C in the Clippers turned upside down. And the skull on the baseball hat with crossed bats instead of bones, a nod to the Mexican holiday, The Day of the Dead. Fans and players are digging the new look.
“I think they are kind of sick you know, colorful especially when you are used to the plain colors. It’s nice to go out of your comfort zone every once and a while,” said outfielder Oscar Mercado.
The Clippers say it’s time to embrace change. The Latino community is welcoming that change with open arms.
“We feel welcomed in the community. We feel included in every sport,” said Salaman.
The Clippers are partnering with El Vaquero Mexican restaurant to serve Mexican food and drinks. Latin music and games will be played throughout the season.