Although it was announced back in June, MLB has officially announced the Players’ Weekend event, in which they’ll allow players to don their nicknames on the backs of their jerseys. The event will take place starting on August 25th and conclude on August 27th.
The jerseys the teams will be wearing won’t be the traditional looks either as each team has their own unique apparel.
Also, on the player’s sleeve, there will be a blank square sewn in for the player to fill with the name of a teammate, coach, or someone special in their life that was important to his development.
Each member of the team was given the opportunity to select which name they wanted to showcase to the world...and there are some bizarre choices.
Evan Longoria went with LONGO, the name of which pretty much everyone refers to him by. Kevin Kiermaier has OUTLAW and Logan Morrison has LOMO, pretty straight forward.
Some certain members of the organization took this opportunity of individuality to be boring with Alex Cobb, Corey Dickerson, and Kevin Cash all wanting their last name to be what is seen. At least Tom Foley shook it up by having him first name rather than last name define him.
Then you have Chris Archer coming in here with FLACO FUERTE, Brad Miller with RAT, and Steve Cishek with... SPEEDPASS!?
Here’s a complete list, released thus far, of the nicknames the Rays chose to have stitched to their respective jersey, with the best saved for last...
Mallex Smith - MALLEX
Evan Longoria - LONGO
Blake Snell - ZILLA
Matt Duffy - DUFFMAN
Tom Foley - Tom
Logan Morrison - LOMO
Corey Dickerson - DICKERSON
Adeiny Hechavarria - LA PANTERA
Brad Miller - RAT
Trevor Plouffe - SPECIAL T
Rocco Baldelli - BALDELLI
Kevin Cash - CASH
Peter Bourjos - NEEDLER
Steven Souza Jr. - SOUZBOT
Lucas Duda - DUDE
Chris Archer - FLACO FUERTE
Jake Odorizzi - ODO
Nathan Eovaldi - EVO
Charlie Montoyo - MONTOYO
Brad Boxberger - BOX
Daniel Robertson - D-ROB
Xavier Cedeno - X
Jacob Faria - FARIA
Matt Andriese - DREEZY
Alex Colome - THE HORSE
Kevin Kiermaier - OUTLAW
Wilson Ramos - BUFFALO
Stan Boroski - BOROSKI
Dan Jennings - DJ
Steve Cishek - SPEEDPASS
Jesus Sucre - SOOKY
Jose Alvarado - LA FLECHA
Chase Whitley - BIG FELLA
Jim Hickey - HICKEY
Tommy Hunter - TOMMY TWO TOWEL
Austin Pruitt - PRUITT
Chad Mottola - MOTTOLA
Alex Cobb - COBB
Sergio Romo - EL MECHÓN
Chih-Wei Hu - WHO?
The best of the lot is certainly rookie Hu’s use of punctuation. Maybe they’ll even let him play first.
MLB had to approve of the nicknames, and it looks like some didn’t make it through the filter, according to this article on the Rays site:
Rookie Jacob Faria noted that he wasn't sure what his nickname will be.
"MLB has to approve all the nicknames, so I'm sure once it comes down to it, it will be a cool nickname all the guys come up with," Faria said. "But I won't know until I look on the back of the jersey that day."
The right-hander did know that his patch would honor his grandfather with "Avo," which is Portuguese for grandfather.
"I think it's a cool thing to let the fans know some of the nicknames we go by in the [clubhouse], and who means a lot to us, the patches," Corey Dickerson said. "There's people who contribute to our lives, us getting here. I think it's cool. It lets the fans see another side of the players. Also a little freedom picking what we want on the back of our jerseys."
Dickerson wasn't sure what would be on the back of his jersey.
"So it might be Dickerson. I don't know," Dickerson said.
Faria has an affinity for rubber... ducks, and for Dickerson it’s all in the name. Who knows what they proposed that got denied...
Here’s the MLB Press Release on the event:
Major Leaguers will let their personalities and passions shine during Players Weekend, a newly-created event taking place during all MLB games scheduled between August 25-27, it was announced today by Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association.
Players Weekend is a player-focused event that will include the players wearing colorful, non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs inspired by youth league uniforms. Players will have the opportunity to have a nickname placed on the back of the jerseys made by Majestic Athletic, as well as to wear and use uniquely-colored and designed spikes, batting gloves, wristbands, compression sleeves, catcher's masks, and bats.
During Players Weekend, the players will also be wearing specially-designed caps by New Era, and unique socks from Stance. In addition, players will have the option of wearing t-shirts highlighting a charity or cause of their choice during pre-game workouts and post-game interviews.