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Reyes de Plata more than just a name for Aviators

Updated June 3, 2019 - 1:00 pm

To say the Aviators are bridging the gap between the United States and Latin America with it’s new alternate home uniforms would be barely scratching the surface.

Eight home games during the 2019 season — including Tuesday’s game against the Red Rock Express — the Las Vegas Aviators become the Las Vegas Reyes de Plata, or the “Silver Kings” as an alternate uniform.

“It’s always fun when you get to throw on a new jersey regardless of whether it’s the first time you’re wearing it or if there’s history behind it,” outfielder Seth Brown said. “When you go out there and you throw on a new jersey and they look good, it’s definitely a good feeling and fun to wear.”

This initiative comes as a part of the MiLB Es Divertido Ser un Fan Campaign that was launched in March 2017 and made its Las Vegas debut last spring.

Aviators General Manager Chuck Johnson said that upon the announcement the program was “well received.”

“Fans really liked the new creative logo, which pays homage to the migrant workers that were instrumental in the state’s mining history,” Johnson said. “The colors and the font worked well with the design concept and merchandise sold very well.”

Last year, the team participated as well under the 51s branding. Currently, the Aviators hold a 2-1 home record when donning the Reyes de Plata uniforms.The Aviators will change identities another three times on the road, already going 1-1 as the “Silver Kings” away from Las Vegas Ballpark.

By definition, the campaign was created as “a new multicultural fan engagement platform aimed at specifically connecting with Hispanic/Latino baseball fans in the 160 markets throughout the U.S. and Canada.”

In the yes of Aviators President and Chief Operating Officer Don Logan, it boils down to diversity in baseball.

“The Copa initiative is a natural extension of the diversity of baseball,” Logan said. “The Latin influence has made baseball the most diverse professional sport in America for decades.”

The Reyes de Plata uniforms credits the city and state’s metal mining history, which gives it it’s Silver State nickname. It doesn’t stop there for Johnson and the rest of the Aviators organization.

This includes announcements in both English and Spanish and revamped food options.

“We’ve had local high school Mariachi bands appear and have had performances by local Folklorico Dance groups,” Johnson said. “Our schedule will allow the Aviators to celebrate the history and culture of Southern Nevada’s vibrant Hispanic/Latino community throughout the season.”

The team is scheduled to wear the uniforms on two separate occasions against the in-state rival Reno Aces — who play under the name Los Corazones de Reno — on July 2 and Aug. 20.

“There’s always history for any jersey you wear and any organization you’re on,” Brown said. “When you’re wearing a jersey that means a lot of history like these, it’s tough not to feel prideful about it and it’s hard not to carry that out there with you.”

The original program started with five markets in 2017 and has grown more than 10 fold in Minor League Baseball.

“Las Vegas was among the first five MiLB franchises included in the campaign’s initial rollout. Prior to the start of the 2018 season, MiLB expanded the initiative to 33 teams,” Johnson said. “This year, MiLB more than doubled the number of teams to 72, covering all minor-league levels. More growth is expected in 2020.”

More Aviators: Follow all of our Las Vegas Aviators coverage online at reviewjournal.com/aviators and @RJ_Sports on Twitter.

Terrel Emerson covers the Aviators for the Review-Journal. He can be reached at temerson@reviewjournal.com.

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