If you tune in to watch the Orioles from August 25-27, they will be looking a little different than you're used to. That weekend is going to be Players Weekend, a new MLB creation where teams will be wearing youth league-inspired jerseys for a weekend, along with a number of other nontraditional baseball jersey stuff going on.
The special jerseys will all include player-chosen nicknames, though many players did not choose nicknames at all. Each jersey will be auctioned off following the weekend, with all proceeds going to support the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation.
There will also be a patch on each jersey with space for each player to write a thank you to people who were instrumental in his development. This logo represents the development of a player from Little League all the way up to MLB.
This is what the Orioles jersey will look like:
Players Weekend will include wearing colorful, non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs inspired by youth league uniforms. pic.twitter.com/adnq2wtQFP— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) August 9, 2017
That's going to be weird. Are they going to go all in on the Little League inspiration and have everybody wear the cheap white pants too? I'm going to guess the answer to that is no.
Nicknames will be on the back of each Orioles player's jersey as follows:
Players will have the opportunity to have a nickname placed on the back of the jerseys. See the O’s nicknames here: pic.twitter.com/LFRpY5bcR9— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) August 9, 2017
A large number of these are straightforward. There are eight players whose jerseys won't show anything different than any ordinary game. Another three players are just using the first name nickname that we already know them by, like Trey Mancini (actually a Joseph) and Joey Rickard (also a Joseph).
The player whose last name really is Joseph, Caleb Joseph, has gone with Cabob, which I enjoy in particular paired with Welington "Beef" Castillo. Has Caleb had this nickname all along or is that a new creation?
Among the ones that are genuine nicknames, most are fairly self-explanatory. One doesn't have to strain very hard to get "Tilly" out of Chris Tillman or "Gausy" out of Kevin Gausman. Odachowski for O'Day is a nice one. If you don't know the story, that was his family's name before they decided to Americanize it in generations past.
A couple leave me simply scratching my head. To his credit, Adam Jones has avoided simply being "AJ", but "Pappo"? I hope someone tells us that story. Mychal Givens as "Tony" is equally confusing, at least until you look and see that his middle name is Antonio. And Jonathan Schoop as "Mamba"? Well, OK, if you say so.
Some others around the league have nicknames that are way more into the strange end:
- Cincinnati's Joey Votto is "Tokki 2"
- On the Giants, Hunter "Wawindaji" Pence
- Kyle Seager of the Mariners is simply "Corey's Brother"
The Orioles will be playing in Boston that weekend, so perhaps they'll have to face Chris "Stickman" Sale and Markus "Mookie" Betts.