By Matt Citak
Major League Baseball, together with the MLB Players Association, announced Wednesday that August 25-27 will be Players Weekend, where players will wear alternate jerseys inspired by youth league designs, and will be given the opportunity to replace last names with nicknames on each jersey’s nameplate.
Players will be able to declare the nickname they want ahead of time, thus allowing fans a chance to buy jerseys with the nicknames on them.
This initiative will be extended to all 30 MLB teams, even including the New York Yankees, who will have nameplates on the back of their jerseys for the first time in team history.
Some players have already picked a nickname, such as Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista (“Joey Bats”), Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (“All Rise”), Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor (“Mr. Smile”), Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (“Thor”), and Atlanta Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips (“Dat Dude”).
All nicknames will be allowed, except for ones deemed offensive or that attempt to include brand names.
In an attempt at letting players express themselves, players around the league will also be permitted to wear custom-designed flashy equipment that help shed a light on their personalities, such as custom bats or batting gloves.
On the right sleeve of each jersey will be a logo meant to symbolize the development of each player, going back to their early days in youth baseball. Each patch will have a blank spot for players to write the name of someone they would like to thank that helped them get to where they are today.
Following the weekend, MLB will auction off the jerseys on its website. The proceeds of the auction will go to the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation.
Matt Citak is a producer for CBS Local Sports and a proud Vanderbilt alum. Follow him on Twitter or send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.