MLB Players’ Weekend is more than cool new uniforms

From Friday to Sunday, you’ll notice something different in the MLB games you watch. That’s because August 25-27 is the premier MLB Players’ Weekend.

As part of Players Weekend, teams will wear special uniforms designed to evoke the game at its youngest levels. We have already shown you the uni of the weekend of the players of each team.

However, there are more than “just” unique and cool uniform designs. Players Weekend was designed by the league in close collaboration with the MLBPA, and it reflects a mutual desire to let players have their say and give fans a closer look at who these guys really are. Let’s see some details…

Batting gloves and socks

Like just about every other major sports league, MLB has restrictions on what players can wear. With the Players Weekend batting gloves and socks, however, no such “neighborhood alliance” is to be found. Looked …

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And …

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These gloves and socks therefore seem to use all the colors available and perhaps some colors invented for this occasion. Of course players don’t have to wear them – and unfortunately low pant cuffs are too much with us these days – but you’re going to see some real flair on the pitch from those who rightfully expose their socks.

Bats

For Players’ Weekend, batters are allowed to customize their tools of destruction – aka their bats – with nicknames and colors of their choice. Suffice it to say, this is going to be a departure from the norm. As an example, here is the wood of Brandon Phillips…

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And Didi Gregorius…

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And Adam Jones…

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The logo

As noted above, Players Weekend is about, at a subplot level, that continuum of baseball that stretches from little league to spectacle — the evolution of baseball, if you will. The Players Weekend logo bears witness to this idea…

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It’s sort of the baseball equivalent of those visual “evolution of man” timelines. Except this one doesn’t span from little primate to homo sapien, but rather from kid swinging the bat to big leaguer. Note the similarities to the Little League and MLB logos…

Pretty cool design, right?

Tribute patches

So here’s what you’ll see on each player’s sleeve this weekend…

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So we have the much-loved Players Weekend logo as well as a white space where every ballplayer can thank someone who has helped them along their baseball journey. “Mom” will likely be a popular choice. As it should be!

Crampons

During the recent Little League Classic, which was sort of a “preview” of the Players Weekend, we saw Tommy Pham and Josh Harrison show off some really special shoes. As a reminder…

And …

You’ll likely see some heartwarming gestures along those lines this weekend. Or some players may just opt ​​for flash…

Represent a charity

Standard batting practice jerseys? Not on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. A less popular feature of Players Weekend is that players can wear T-shirts promoting charities during batting practice. And they don’t even have to be MLB-affiliated charities. This means good local causes or organizations close to the player’s heart for other reasons will be in abundance.

For example …

Nicknames

This, of course, is the thing we all talk about. Players if they wish are allowed to put nicknames on the back of their shirts instead of their real names. Look at these two outstanding examples…

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It’s Kyle Seager on the left, passive-aggressively noting his brother Corey, and it’s Yankees powerhouse Aaron Judge on the right.

Speaking of the Yankees, when CC Sabathia (nickname, “Dub”) took the mound against the Mariners leading the first Friday night, he became the first player in franchise history to have a name on the back of his Jersey. Until that time, the Yankees were the only major North American sports franchise to never have player names on their jerseys.

Speaking of Dub, dig his cleats for this weekend…

Cool nicknames certainly won’t be hard to come by (eg Jake Marisnick = “Big Fudge”), and another worth mentioning is that of Orioles reliever Darren O’Day. What is his nickname for Players Weekend? It’s “Odachowski”…

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This was when the O’Day family was known as the Odachowski family.

“My grandfather fought in World War II,” O’Day told CBS Sports, “and didn’t come back quite the same — which we now know to be PTSD. That had a lot affected his life, and obviously his wife and children.”

O’Day’s grandfather – her father’s father – sadly passed away at a young age, and it is her grandmother who is responsible for raising three young boys in Chicago. She worked in downtown Montgomery Ward and ended up going by the name “Odach”, which is pronounced “O’Day”. Why she did this isn’t precisely clear, and while O’Day doesn’t want to blindly speculate, he rightly wonders if it was because of the discrimination that Polish immigrants like her grandparents were facing at the time.

Whatever the reasons, the name stuck.

“Whey, my dad and his second brother got married, they ‘Americanized’ him into O’Day as a tribute to their mother.”

O’Day’s father’s older brother kept the surname Odachowski, and to this day O’Day still has cousins ​​from Chicago who bear the original surname. This weekend, O’Day will also carry that name – with deep pride, no doubt.

“Some of my younger cousins ​​in Chicago play Little League and tell people they have a cousin who plays the big leagues,” O’Day said, “but no one believes them because the name is different.”

Thanks to O’Day’s choice of nicknames for Players Weekend, that disbelief should no longer exist.

Happy weekend to players, baseball fans.

Neal T. Doss