Lunaticos De Rocket City debut this Sunday
Trash Pandas to play under new Copa identity for three games in 2023
By Aaron Cheris, Rocket City Trash Pandas
MADISON – This Sunday, the Lunaticos de Rocket City will come to life for the first time when the Rocket City Trash Pandas play their first game under their new identity with a 2:35 p.m. matchup against the Tennessee Smokies as part of a fiesta at Toyota Field.
The game will see the Trash Pandas take the field with brand new uniforms representing their new identity as part of Minor League Baseball’s “Copa de la Diversión” or “Fun Cup.” The Lunaticos moniker was unveiled in March and represents North Alabama’s growing and diverse community, allowing everyone to show off their wild side at Toyota Field.
“I think it’s pretty cool to wear those uniforms. Especially us as Hispanics, we’re really embracing it,” Trash Pandas pitcher Victor Mederos said. “It’s going to bring a great crowd, a different type of crowd and different atmosphere with a lot of energy. It’s going to be a fun day.”
With the unveiling of the new Lunaticos identity, the Trash Pandas are now the only professional sports team in the state of Alabama with an alternate identity playing homage to its local Hispanic community. The Trash Pandas have hosted Hispanic Heritage night at Toyota Field in each of the first two seasons in team history and will do so again later in the 2023 season.
“It’s fitting. It’s cool how there are so types of people that enjoy this game,” Mederos said. “Some of the guys out here barely know English but we all share the same love for the game. It’s pretty cool how no matter where you come from, once you step out of the field, we’re all the same.”
Sunday’s game will feature a Fiesta in the Outfield before, during, and after the Lunaticos battle their North Division rivals. D.J. Raffi Torres will be performing throughout the day. Food trucks from Nacho’s Mexican Food and El Palomino will be serving Mexican specialties. Margaritas will be available for fans at the Inline Electric Rock Porch, Pub Madison, and The Bullpen Bar. Traditional Hispanic dishes will be available at The Bullpen Bar and fans will be able to get their faces painted at the Toyota Outfield Experience.
The current Rocket City roster features eight players born in Latin countries. Infielders Jose Gomez, Kevin Maitan, and Livan Soto were all born in Venezuela. Mederos, Catcher Edgar Quero, and outfielder Orlando Martinez were born in Cuba. Pitchers Ivan Armstrong and José Soriano were born in the Dominican Republic. Five former Trash Pandas with Latin heritage reached the Major Leagues between 2021-22, all making their MLB debut with the Los Angeles Angels.
The full schedule for the Lunaticos de Rocket City is below:
- Sunday, May 7 at 2:35 p.m. vs. Tennessee
- Sunday, June 25 at 4:05 p.m. vs. Montgomery
- Sunday, August 27 at 4:05 p.m. vs. Birmingham