In May of 2018, I ventured down to NC to see the Winston-Salem Dash. Or did I see los Rayados de Winston-Salem? In a word, both.
The Dash were one of 33 Minor League teams that participated in their Copa de la Diversión in 2018. Per MiLB, “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. By all accounts, it was a tremendous success league wide, and in 2019, 72 teams are participating.
The initiative has four key pillars:
- Increase awareness, authentic engagements, and attendance with U.S. Hispanics/Latinxs in their local community.
- Embrace the culture that is passionate about baseball, family and fun by updating the ballpark experience to match the values these fans cherish most.
- Create and employ culturally-relevant on-field personas that authentically connects the team with their local U.S. Hispanic/Latinx community.
- Amplify MiLB’s continuous effort to diversify the game and business of baseball nationwide.
MiLB put out this nifty video highlighting the teams participating this year (Video credit: MiLB),
You can read more about Copa de la Diversión here on the MiLB website. And for a complete list of teams participating in 2019, here’s the complete list.
Rayados de Winston-Salem
So when I made my way to Winston-Salem, they were playing as the Rayados. You’ll see some good photos of their alternate uniforms below, but here’s a good shot of their hats. Yes, I opted for a Rayados cap!
Inside the stadium, they had a mariachi band playing. They were pretty good!
The Dash and BB&T Ballpark
The Dash are a Single A-Advance team in the Carolina League. Winston-Salem has been in the Carolina League since 1945, but their baseball roots go back as far as 1905. Their history is evidenced by posters of various players that have come through Winston-Salem. A small sampling includes:
Another nice tribute to their history:
Their current home is BB&T Ballpark. Opened in 2009, it’s really crisp and clean, and the view just from the parking lot is amazing.
As you make your way up to the main gate, they have a really nice statue to greet you.
Nice view from the outfield:
And your obligatory panoramic shot!
BB&T Ballpark also has a very sweet picnic terrace.
Like most newer ballparks, there’s an outfield concourse that lets you walk all the way around. I really like that feature. They also had berm seating, and a nice little bar/seating area in left field.
I’ve been blessed to be able to get into a few ballparks’ broadcast operations during my blogging career. Most of you would be surprised at the technology that goes into the press area, stadium operations, broadcast center, etc. Many of these centers would rival major league clubs. While I was an outsider looking in this time, their setup looked very high tech!
Speaking of bars…. the Dash have plenty of great food options. From pizza to ice cream to frozen ice to dogs. It all looked great!
In the end, I went with my southern roots and ordered fried pickles and fried okra. And the fried okra was fresh! I had to wait a bit while they fried it up for me. Yeah, it was as good as it looks!
Let’s get things started with the traditional “play ball” call!
Some great action in the field!
I’ve seen plenty of between inning games, but this one takes the cake! I wish I had captured the whole thing on video, but you can get the gist!
I was lucky enough to grab a suvi…sou… souvenir. (Speeling was never my strong suit!)
I didn’t get my selfie with this dude. I think I need to go back!
I feel bad for posting this a year after I visited the Dash. But it’s amazing how fast the memories come back. Like the victory formation! The post game interviews. And I love seeing the players signing autographs after the game. One more reason to love MiLB, and the Winston-Salem Dash. And the Rayados de Winston-Salem!