The South Bend Cubs are embracing Latino culture and will call themselves los Cabritos Maldichos, or the Cursed Goats, for five games in the 2020 season.
The Cubs, who are coming off a Midwest League championship, will adopt the name for those select games as part of Minor League Baseball's Copa de la Diversion, or the Fun Cup initiative.
Copa de la Diversion was adopted by Minor League Baseball in 2018 as 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," according to a release from the South Bend Cubs.
The moniker refers to the 71-year so-called Curse of the Billy Goat, the latter portion of the Chicago Cubs' 108-year World Series drought.
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As part of Minor League Baseball’s Copa de la Diversión (“Fun Cup”) initiative, the South Bend Cubs are proud to join 91 other Minor League teams as they will become “Los Cabritos Maldichos” (“The Cursed Goats”) for five games during the 2020 season.
Copa de la Diversión, or Copa for short, began in 2018 and is described by MiLB as 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.”
Los Cabritos Maldichos refers to the 71-year-long Curse of the Billy Goat that was placed on the Chicago Cubs during the 1945 World Series. While fans were forced to wait quite some time, this curse was finally broken when the Chicago Cubs won the 2016 World Series. By becoming “Los Cabritos Maldichos,” South Bend honors and celebrates our Latino players and the Latinx community both in the stadium and throughout the community by spotlighting their contributions to our nation and national pastime.
This partnership with MiLB aims to provide authentic and culturally relevant experiences to connect with Hispanic/Latinx community while amplifying MiLB's continuous effort to diversify the game and business of baseball nationwide. In 2018, MiLB brought Copa to life with the help of 33 teams. In 2019, 72 teams participated in the initiative. The 2020 season will boast as the biggest Copa year with 92 teams.
One of MiLB’s core values is community, and this value is at the core of Copa. In taking the time to celebrate Latinx culture and individuals, the community is made even stronger and even more inclusive.
“Being involved in the South Bend community is an essential part of who we are as an organization,” said South Bend Cubs President Joe Hart. “We are thrilled to join a national program celebrating the contributions and growing influence of Latinx culture in our game and in our community.”
“We’re excited to see another local company working to connect with our community,” said Sam Centellas, Executive Director for La Casa de Amistad. “We have proudly hosted players in our building for events, partnered on special events with the South Bend Cubs and looking forward to the 2020 season!”
La Casa de Amistad is a not-for-profit, charitable organization, which functions as a community center on the west side of South Bend. It was founded in October 1973 as a youth outreach program in response to the many needs confronting Hispanic teenagers. Founded by Fr. John Phalen, C.S.C., La Casa de Amistad offers various programs in an effort to assist Hispanic youth in self-acceptance and knowledge of the Hispanic culture of which they are a part.
The logo of “Los Cabritos Maldichos” itself contains an abundance of hidden allusions to the Chicago Cubs and the famed curse. Ivy and baseball stitching can be found on the goat’s face, while the roman numerals “CVIII” are found in the collar, alluding to the 108 years that passed between Cubs Championships.
South Bend’s inaugural Copa game will be played on Sunday, May 17. Four additional games include June 18, July 11, August 14, and August 26. Copa games will include authentic Latino food items, live music, on-field performances, player recognitions, special giveaway items, and a brand-new Copa-specific on-field look that will be released in March. Los Cabritos Maldichos apparel is now available for purchase at the Cubs Den Team Store and online at https://southbendcubs.milbstore.com/.