For the second consecutive year, Major Leaguers will put their personalities and passions on the field when Players' Weekend takes center stage during all games from Friday, Aug. 24, through Sunday, Aug. 26.Here are the nicknames the Mariners will wear on their backs while sporting colorful, non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate
For the second consecutive year, Major Leaguers will put their personalities and passions on the field when Players' Weekend takes center stage during all games from Friday, Aug. 24, through Sunday, Aug. 26.
Here are the nicknames the Mariners will wear on their backs while sporting colorful, non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs inspired by youth-league uniforms:
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Dan Altavilla: "BUZZY"
-- "When I was younger, 'Toy Story' was always my favorite. I was in the living room just watching 'Toy Story' one day and we had an old VCR and the VCR actually broke out of nowhere, and ever since then my mom called me Buzzy or Buzz," Altavilla said. "I got some cleats painted from my buddy, he made Buzz and Woody. As long as I'm activated I'll wear them."
Chasen Bradford: "BLACK BEAR"
Robinson Cano: "NOLO"
-- "It was my aunt [who gave me the nickname]. She said it was from a movie, I don't know which movie it was, but I know that she will be so happy when she sees it on my back," Cano said. "Everyone that knows me since I was a kid, that's what they call me. It's only people that really know me that call me that nickname."
Alex Colome: "THE HORSE"
-- The Mariners have called the quiet reliever "The Silent Assassin" since his arrival from the Rays. But Colome says former teammates used to say he looked like a horse when he took the mound, and he's sticking with it.
Nelson Cruz: "BOOMSTICK"
-- "I did the 2K video game in 2009. In the video game we did some graphic and I called my bat the boomstick. After that, everywhere I go the fans asked me about the boomstick, if I brought the boomstick and all that," said Cruz, who added that he did not consider any other nicknames.
Edwin Diaz: "SUGAR"
-- Seattle's closer has had this sweet nickname since his teen years when he and his travel team watched the 2008 baseball movie "Sugar" about a 19-year-old pitcher from the Dominican and decided he looked like the main character, Miguel "Sugar" Santos, who was played by actor Algenis Perez Soto. "The son of the manager told me, 'Hey, you look like him. I will start calling you Sugar,'" Diaz said.
Zach Duke: "DUKIE"
Roenis Elias: "CUBICHE"
Marco Gonzales: "GONZO"
Dee Gordon: "VARIS"
-- "That's actually my real name," Gordon said. "I don't go by Dee at home. It's Devaris or Varis. The reason I go by Dee is so many people chop and mess up my name so bad. They say Darius or Devarius. "My family calls me Devaris. In high school, since I have two last names [Strange-Gordon], they called me 'Dee-Strange,' because I could shoot in hoops. They called me 'Dee-Strange with the range.'" In his first year in the Minors, though, a public address announcer called him "Devarnius Strange-Gordon," which prompted a change: "I said, 'I'm just going by Dee Gordon from now on."
Mitch Haniger: "MEETCH"
-- "College friends call me that and I just did it for them, basically. Not a ton of guys in here call me it. Just kind of funny, did it for my friends," said Hainger, who played three seasons at Cal Poly.
Ryon Healy: "BUBBA"
-- "It was my nickname growing up from my dad. Ryan was a really popular name when I was born, so he just wanted something a little bit different," Healy said.
Felix Hernandez: "KING FELIX"
-- "No idea who [the first to call me King Felix] was," Hernandez said. "Some magazine or paper, I don't know. As soon as I got here to the big leagues, the name was already there. I was in Tacoma, the name was already 'King.' ... I love it."
Chris Herrmann: "WORM"
-- Hard to argue with Herrm the Worm, which Herrmann says originated back in his high school days in Texas from teammate Trevor Hurley. "He said it one time, and it just stuck with me ever since."
Mike Leake: "SPIKE"
-- "Last year I went with Sparky and that was what the traveling secretary gave me. And then Jack [Mosimann], our traveling secretary, wanted to switch it to Spike, that's where it came from," Leake said. "There might be future years where I pick it myself."
Wade LeBlanc: "FRENCHY"
-- "A coach in Low-A, Randy Ready, he liked calling guys by their last names and I guess Frenchy is easier to say than LeBlanc," LeBlanc said.
Cameron Maybin: "SLIM"
"I wanted to go with Spider-Mayb, but I guess through the rights, I don't know how it all works, but when I was in San Diego, Dick Enberg used to call me 'Daddy Long Legs,' so Spider-Mayb kind of stuck, but I'm not allowed to do that. So Slim, Slim's always a good one, though," Maybin said. "It was passed down. Me and my dad, we look a lot alike, I got the tattoo 'Slim' on my forearm. My dad, it's pretty much what he always calls me, so it's my go-to."
Juan Nicasio: "ARENOSO"
-- Nicasio grew up in a small town of Arenoso in the Dominican Republic, and when he went in to bigger cities, he'd frequently be greeted by calls of "Hey, Arenoso!" So he's going with that as a tribute to his roots.
James Paxton: "BIG MAPLE"
-- "Not a tough choice. I think that was kind of the obvious choice for me," Paxton said. "There's Pax -- nothing like the Big Maple, though. That's kind of my coined nickname."
James Pazos: "PAPA PAZ"
-- The Mariners reliever says Papa Paz was what his teammates at the University of San Diego called him.
Erasmo Ramirez: "MITO"
-- Ramirez is going with the nickname his family called him when he was growing up in Nicaragua, which is a variation of his first name. Andrew Romine: "ROMI"
Kyle Seager: "SEAGER"
-- "Corey's Brother didn't really work last year how I was hoping it would," Seager said. "I had no hits and I'm pretty sure I had a couple errors that series, so it definitely had to go. And way too many interviews, also. I got way too popular and way too cool. I couldn't do it."
Jean Segura: "EL MAMBO"
-- Segura says "Mambo" is a variation of the merengue music he grew up liking in the Dominican Republic and also a nickname he uses in social media.
Denard Span: "D-SPAN"
Sam Tuivailala: "TUI"
Nick Vincent: "HUBBA HUBBA"
-- "Last year I thought it was your Little League nickname growing up, so that's what I did. One of my good friends, his grandparents would always call me Hubba Hubba. I had long blond hair, blue eyes, so I was the pretty boy, I guess, of the team. But that was their nickname for me, and that's what I stuck with," Vincent said.
Adam Warren: "THE WARDEN"
-- "I was at an autograph signing four, five years ago and one guy came up and asked me if I could sign my nickname. I was like, 'I don't have a nickname, what's my nickname?' And he said, 'Yeah, it's The Warden, I read it online,'" Warren said. "There's a ball out there that says, 'Adam Warren, The Warden' on it. I haven't [signed another], there's only one out there. I even went online to try to figure out where he found it, and I couldn't find it, so not sure how that started. I actually kind of like it."
Mike Zunino: "Z"
-- "When you have a name like that, Z's the easiest thing to say. Short, simple and to the point," Zunino said.
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.