Major League Baseball will look anything but uniform for a newly created Players Weekend later this month.
MLB, together with the MLB Players Association, announced Wednesday a group of initiatives aimed letting players express themselves while connecting with their past in youth baseball.
From Aug. 25 to Aug. 27, players will wear alternate jerseys inspired by youth league designs, and they can also replace last names with nicknames on jersey nameplates.
Players will be able to declare their nicknames ahead of time, which will enable fans to buy jerseys with the nicknames on them, much like the NBA first did in 2014.
Player nicknames will even be included on the back of New York Yankees jerseys, the first time any nameplate has been on the back of the team’s uniforms.
Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius will be “Sir Didi.” Other nicknames already declared include Atlanta Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips (“Dat Dude”), Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista (“Joey Bats”), Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor (“Mr. Smile”) and Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen (“Cutch”).
Nicknames that attempt to include brand names or are deemed offensive will not be allowed.
Players will also be permitted to wear custom-designed flashy equipment, from batting gloves to bats, that shows their personalities.
Following the theme of the weekend’s connection to youth baseball, the jerseys’ right sleeves will have logos meant to symbolize the development of each player. The “evolution” patch has a blank space where players can write in someone they wish to thank who helped them get to the big leagues.
Much like the NFL’s “My Cleats, My Cause” campaign during Week 13 last season, baseball players can support the charity of their choice before or after the game.
MLB will auction off the jerseys on its website, with the proceeds going to the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation.
Other interesting nicknames include:
1. Sean Doolittle, Nationals, DOOOOOOOO
2. Kyle Seager, Mariners, COREY’S BROTHER
3. Wei-Yin Chen, Marlins, WEIGH-IN
4. Lance McCullers & Collin McHugh, Astros, SNAP DRAGON 1 & SNAP DRAGON 2
5. Carl Edwards Jr., Cubs, CARL’S JR.
6. Robinson Cano, Mariners, DON’T YOU KNOW
7. Todd Frazier, Yankees, TODDFATHER
8. Trevor Bauer, Indians, BAUER OUTAGE
9. Chris Herrman, Diamondbacks, HERRM THE WORM
10. Tommy Hunter, Rays, TOMMY TWO TOWEL
11. David Price, Red Sox, ASTRO’S DAD
12. Aaron Judge, Yankees, ALL RISE
13. Andrew Triggs, A’s, TRIGGONOMETRY
14. Max Scherzer, Nationals, BLUE EYE
15. Aroldis Chapman, Yankees, THE MISSILE