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   Bernardino

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Algodoneros de Unión Laguna 130

Notice: All logos on this page are included within the parameters of 17 U.S.C. § 107, which states that the reproduction of a copyrighted work for purposes of criticism and/or comment is not an infringement of copyright. No challenge to the copyrights of these logos is intended by their inclusion here.
Posted 2021 June 27

So, let's talk about the name here. Algodoneros de Unión Laguna. It's a bit of a mouthful, so let's break it down word by word.

If you've ever looked closely at the labels for your clothes, you know that algodon is the Spanish word for cotton. Thus, algodoneros translates roughly into cottoners. As you might guess, cotton has traditionally been a major crop in la Laguna (we'll get to why in a bit), although it seems to be less so today from what I can find. So it's not surprising that the baseball team in the area chose to call themselves the cotton makers. No, I'm not saying it's a good name, because it isn't. But we're talking about a league that has other teams called the steelers, the shawlers, and the railroaders, so it fits right in.

De is the Spanish word for of. You knew that, of course, but I said I was going to break it down word by word and it's one of the words in the name, so I had to say something.

Next is Unión. Now, before going any further I should clarify that this is not part of the geographic moniker the way that Quintana is part of the geographic moniker in Tigres de Quintana Roo. The team's geographic moniker is Laguna, the nickname is Algodoneros, and the Unión is kind of its own thing. Apparently the first baseball team in the area (this is another thing I'll come back to in a couple of paragraphs) was also called los Algodoneros de Unión Laguna, and the Unión came from the fact that the team was sponsored by la Compañía Jabonera la Unión, or the Union Soap Company. As best as I could find, la Compañía Jabonera la Unión went out of business in the early 1990s, so the current name is nothing more than an homage to the original team.

Finally, Laguna. You're probably guessing that Laguna is a city, and given how similar it looks to the English word "lagoon" you're probably thinking the city is somewhere on the coast. Wrong on both counts. La Laguna is a region of Mexico, and it's about as far from the coast as anywhere in Mexico. Explaining this requires delving into geography, but I'll try to keep it brief. The common conception of the Great Continental Divide is that it's a line where water east of it goes into the Atlantic and water west of it goes into the Pacific. The reality is a little more more complicated than that (as reality tends to be) in some places. One of those complications is that there's an area in Mexico where water doesn't actually go to either. Instead, it winds up in lakes with no outflow. In Mexican Spanish these lakes are called lagunas (a word which in other dialects of Spanish means lagoon), and the region is know as either Comarca Lagunera (Region of Lagoons) or simply La Laguna. Torreón, the actual city where los Algodoneros de Unión play, is in the middle of La Laguna.

Those lakes, by the way, are why the area was a big cotton-producing area in times past: the lakes and rivers were prone to flooding (since the water had nowhere else to go), and those floods made the soil particularly good for growing cotton (please don't ask me for the details; I'm not a geologist). The area doesn't produce as much cotton today because the rivers were dammed to control the flooding, and the lack of flooding means the soil isn't as good for growing cotton as it used to be.

So there you go: Algodoneros de Unión Laguna, or (roughly speaking) "Lagoon Region Union Soap Company Cottoners". There are of course a couple of problems with it. First that it's a mouthful and don't make a lot of sense to us outsiders, but apparently the locals are fine with it so we're just gonna have to get over it. The second problem is that it's hard to come up with a good logo for such a team. The team decided the best approach would be to just put the stadium in the logo. It's a rather, um, "unusual" choice, but it is a fairly nifty-looking stadium, so why not, right?

To spruce things up a bit, they put a maroon circle (the team is nicknamed la máquina guinda, the "maroon machine") around the drawing of the stadium with the cap insignia (a "UL" monogram) at the top of the circle and the year 1940 at the bottom. The year refers to when the team was founded, except that it's a lie. The original Algodoneros de Unión Laguna was founded in 1940, but moved away in 1944 to become los Tecolotes de Nuevo Laredo, and then folded in 1946. The current franchise, as best as I can tell (following franchise moves in Mexico can be tricky) was founded in Juárez in 1946 as los Indios de Ciudad Juárez, and played there until they moved to Torreón in 1984. Since then, they've been known as los Algodoneros de Unión Laguna (1985-1999), los Algodoneros de Torreón (2000-2002), los Vaqueros de Laguna (2003-2017), and back to los Algodoneros de Unión Laguna in 2018. So there are several dates you could make a convincing case for, but 1940 isn't one of them.

Oh well. Putting the stadium in the logo is a bit of a reach, and so is naming your team after a no-longer-important industry. May as well go for the trifecta, right?

Final Score:130 points.
Penalties: Region, 8 pts; Er(o)s, 26 pts; Scenery, 11 pts; Equipment (doubly egregious), 42 pts; Irrelevance, 39 pts; Name, 10 pts.
Bonuses: Local, -6 pts.


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