MLB unveils youthful and colorful uniforms as part of Players’ Weekend

MLB has announced new jerseys, caps and socks for Players’ Weekend. (MLB)

Major League Baseball is ready to loosen things up. From August 25 to 27, players will be encouraged to show their personality during Players’ Weekend. The league and the Players Association teamed up to create the event.

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MLB unveiled new jerseys for the affair on Wednesday, which aim to inject excitement into the game while appealing to younger audiences.

The uniforms deviate a bit from tradition. They are vibrant and full of color. In most cases, you don’t get the standard team script on a white or gray background. Instead, Majestic used bright blues, reds, teals and yellows. The jersey designs were inspired by youth league uniforms. Each team’s cap and jersey for Players’ Weekend can be seen on MLB.com.

Players Weekend jerseys feature more vibrant colors.  (MLB)

Players Weekend jerseys feature more vibrant colors. (MLB)

These shirts will also feature a patch on the right sleeve where each player can write the name of a person or organization that has helped them on their journey to the majors. We expect to see many parents and former coaches honored over the three days.

Game-worn jerseys will be auctioned on MLB.com after the weekend. The league will donate 100% of proceeds to the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation.

Regular jerseys – those not worn during matches – should also be available for purchase.

Jerseys are not the only things to change. New Era has been working on new caps, which match the colorful theme.

New Era has designed new brightly colored caps for Players Weekend.  (MLB)

New Era has designed new brightly colored caps for Players Weekend. (MLB)

Lastly, these uniforms would fall flat with normal socks, which is why Stance jumped in to animate the options.

Stance has prepared stylish socks for the players' weekend.  (MLB)

Stance has prepared stylish socks for the players’ weekend. (MLB)

The changes don’t stop there. Players will be allowed to have nicknames embroidered on the back of their shirts. If David Ortiz was still active, chances are you’ll see “Big Papi” on a jersey during Players Weekend. Teams have yet to announce which players have chosen nicknames, but are expected to reveal that information on social media in the coming days.

Players will also be permitted to wear custom-designed batting gloves, spikes, wristbands, compression sleeves, catcher’s masks and bats. These must remain within the rules, of course. For example, a pitcher cannot wear all white accessories to try and hide the ball.

We’re very interested in seeing how some players customize their gear. We know that Bryce Harper had a custom 4th of July patriotic bat made last season, but didn’t use it in the game out of respect for MLB rules. We guess he has something fun planned for it.

The league will also allow players to wear t-shirts showcasing a charity of their choice during pre-game practices and post-game interviews.

The league has already appointed team ambassadors to promote the event. They include Anthony Rizzo, Francisco Lindor, Manny Machado, Jose Bautista, and Nelson Cruz, among others. We all remember Cruz’s in-game photo with Joe West at the All-Star Game, so he should have fun with that.

[Related: Joe West suspended for comments about Adrian Beltre]

Although Players Weekend doesn’t officially begin until August 25, fans can get a taste of what things will look like during the MLB Little League Classic. On August 20, teams representing the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals will show off their new uniforms at the Little League World Series.

This seems like the perfect place to debut the new duds, given that the idea behind them is to appeal to younger audiences. Players Weekend is also a way for MLB to market its players, something many are looking for as young talent has exploded in recent years. This is the main opportunity for some of these guys to show off their eccentricities.

We’re supporters of a number of new jerseys, many of which we’ve already shown above, but we think the Chicago White Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays are among our favorites. favourites.

Some of the new jersey designs still manage a retro feel.  (MLB)

Some of the new jersey designs still manage a retro feel. (MLB)

With the exception of the Rays, all are inspired by the retro jerseys worn by these clubs over the years. You’ll notice the league has taken this approach in a few places, including the Pirates and Detroit Tigers caps. It is a good way to arouse the interest of all the fans. The idea might be to appeal to a younger demographic, but retro designs can appeal to older fans as well.

If that’s the point, then the league has really succeeded with the San Diego Padres. While brown isn’t making a comeback, the league found a way to separate the team’s modern blue color with ’80s yellow. This could have produced our favorite uniform of the group.

Now we have a reason to want a Padres jersey.  (MLB)

Now we have a reason to want a Padres jersey. (MLB)

The league encouraged a lighter atmosphere at this year’s All Star Game — and at the World Baseball Classic — but this will be the first time it’s willing to move that experience into the regular season. Not only that, but it will be an extended period of three days.

At this time, the league does not know if Players Weekend will continue. It’s a possibility, but only if it elicits a strong reaction.

The new uniforms and emphasis on allowing players to express themselves is a successful step in this direction. Now it’s up to the players to deliver on the hype.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Do you have any advice? Email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

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