Flying Chanclas merchandise is highly sought-after this season, with fans seeking out apparel from the San Antonio Missions (Class AA; Texas League) Copa de la Diversión identity.
In 2018, Minor League Baseball is celebrating Copa de la Diversión, or “Fun Cup,” a season-long initiative that, according an MiLB announcement from February, is “specifically designed to embrace the culture and values that resonate most with participating teams’ local U.S. Hispanic/Latino communities.” There are 33 teams participating in Copa de la Diversión, all of which are adopting alternate on-field monikers for select games this season.
In the case of the Missions, the team has adopted the Flying Chanclas de San Antonio moniker. Early indications were that the San Antonio community was ready to embrace the alternate name and Copa de la Diversión initiative, as 8,337 fans turned out for a Flying Chanclas game earlier this month–the largest crowd at Wolff Stadium since 2004.
That support is reflected in merchandise sales as well, as the Missions have received stronger demand than what was originally expected for Flying Chanclas merchandise. More from the San Antonio Express-News:
Comedian George Lopez, writer Shea Serrano and other Hispanic celebrities praised the idea. Sports Illustrated ranked the Flying Chanclas as the No. 1 Fun Cup name.
“That first day, we knew we were in trouble,” [Missions president Burl] Yarbrough said.
It did not take two weeks for 3,000 hats to be sold. By game No. 22, the Missions surpassed last year’s in-park merchandise sales. The club’s approximate 4,000 online orders is not only a franchise record. The Missions led all MiLB sales as of last month.
San Antonio’s staffers are now dedicated to fulfilling online orders. Yarbrough said they are aiming to catch up by mid-June.
The Missions most recently used the Flying Chanclas on Thursday, when they defeated the Tulsa Drillers by a final of 10-1.