Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
The Official Site of the Seattle Mariners
news

Mariners News

M's Players Weekend nicknames explained

Monikers, tribute patches on jerseys are just part of fun on tap
MLB.com

Things will look a little different as the Mariners start a three-game series with the Yankees on Friday at Yankee Stadium. Some players will be wearing nicknames on the back of their jerseys instead of their regular last names. Don't adjust your television or blink twice, as this is all planned through the Players Weekend initiative.

This season, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association agreed to allow players to wear nicknames during this weekend's series. The weekend is called Players Weekend, and it gives big leaguers a chance to relive their childhood with cool nicknames. Players can choose their jersey nickname, and they can also pay tribute to a special person or special people with a patch on their jersey. Some players also decided to stay with their last name and just do a tribute, or vise versa.

Things will look a little different as the Mariners start a three-game series with the Yankees on Friday at Yankee Stadium. Some players will be wearing nicknames on the back of their jerseys instead of their regular last names. Don't adjust your television or blink twice, as this is all planned through the Players Weekend initiative.

This season, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association agreed to allow players to wear nicknames during this weekend's series. The weekend is called Players Weekend, and it gives big leaguers a chance to relive their childhood with cool nicknames. Players can choose their jersey nickname, and they can also pay tribute to a special person or special people with a patch on their jersey. Some players also decided to stay with their last name and just do a tribute, or vise versa.

What you need to know for Players Weekend

All 30 teams are in on the initiative, and after this weekend, the game-worn Players Weekend jerseys will be auctioned at MLB.com/auctions, with 100 percent of net proceeds donated to the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation, a joint effort established in 2015 by MLB and the MLBPA, with an initial commitment of $30 million focused on improving amateur baseball and softball programs across the U.S. and Canada.

Players Weekend gear available at MLBShop.com

The Mariners will be without some players who are on the disabled list. However, it is worth noting their nicknames.

Those names are as follows: Felix Hernandez ("King Felix"), James Paxton ("Big Maple"), Jarrod Dyson ("Zoombiya"), Hisashi Iwakuma ("Kuma"), Tony Zych ("T.A.Z") are all included.

Below are the nicknames that active Mariners players have selected for Players Weekend.

Andrew Albers: Last name
Albers was acquired from the Braves in early August, and he recently made his debut with the Mariners. Albers said that he hadn't gotten the chance to pick out a tribute name or nickname for his jersey.

Yonder Alonso: "Mr. 305"
Alonso said he chose the nickname as a tribute to Miami, where he played his college baseball. The slugger also said it is a thank you to the city for always supporting him throughout his baseball career.
Tribute patch: Wife, Dom, Dad, Sister and everyone involved in my career
Alonso said that his family means the world to him, and that they have given him the opportunity to fulfill his dreams. He chose them as a tribute for the support they give him every day.

Dan Altavilla: Last name
Altavilla chose to stick with his last name for Players Weekend.

Robinson Cano: "Don't You Know"
Cano said that he got the nickname from veteran Yankees radio announcer John Sterling in 2005, when Cano came up with New York. He likes the nickname, as it is what everybody refers to him as around the league.
Tribute patch: God, Mom and Dad
Cano is going to pay tribute to his family for always being there for him when he was making his way to the Major Leagues. He also thanks God for always leading him in the right direction.

Nelson Cruz: "Boomstick"
Cruz is known for hitting home runs, and he has had the nickname for seven years. He also did a commercial called "Nellie's Auto Glass," where he featured the term boomstick while referencing his bats. Cruz said that fans now ask him if he brings his boomstick everywhere he goes, as it became a popular hit to them. So he decided to use it as a nickname for Players Weekend.
Tribute patch: El Super Varo
Cruz said he is going to honor his Dominican Summer League coach Evaristo "Varo" Lantigua, who helped Cruz improve his game early in his career.

Video: MLB Network on top outfielders for Players Weekend

Edwin Diaz: "Sugar"
Diaz is going with the "Sugar" moniker because many of his high school teammates thought that he looked like the main character in the baseball movie "Sugar."
Tribute patch: Mami y Papi Familia Diaz Laboy
Diaz is going to honor his family that has helped him make it to the Major Leagues. He just wants to show tribute to those who helped pave the way for him.

Yovani Gallardo "YO"
Gallardo is using his nickname to play off his first name. It is what he is referred to sometimes by his teammates.
Tribute patch: Mom and Dad
Gallardo is going to honor his parents, who have helped support him throughout the years, like getting him to baseball practice as a youngster, and helping him make it to the MLB.

Ben Gamel: Last name
Gamel decided to stick with his last name on the back of his jersey for Players Weekend.
Tribute patch: Mom and Dad
He said that his family took him to baseball tournaments and gave him the tools to succeed in life. Gamel said his family has been supportive, hence the reason for the tribute.

Marco Gonzales: Last name
Gonzales says he will stick with his last name, as he recently got called up from Triple-A Tacoma and didn't get the chance to set a nickname.
Tribute patch: My Family
Gonzalez said that he wouldn't be here today without their support, and said that he thanks his wife, parents and family for helping him along the way.

Mitch Haniger: Last name
Haniger said that he is going to use his last name on the back of his jersey.
Tribute patch: My Family
Haniger said that his family has always been there for him, and he wanted to pay tribute to them for all the help they have given him on his journey to the Major Leagues.

Guillermo Heredia: "El Conde"
Heredia's nickname is translated to "The Count," and it is used to signify nobility.
Tribute patch: Mami y Papa Molina-Heredia
Heredia will honor his family, who has helped him as he's chased his baseball dreams.

Casey Lawrence: Last name
Lawrence chose to use his last name on the back of his jersey. He didn't get to pick one, as he was recently called up to the Mariners.
Tribute patch: Mom and Dad
Lawrence said that his mom was up early to play catch with him when he was little, and his dad was his coach. So he wanted to pay tribute to them, along with the rest of his family.

Ariel Miranda: Last name
Miranda chose to stick with his last name on the back of his jersey.
Tribute patch: To My Family
Miranda is going to honor his family, who has supported him in life and has been there as he chased his baseball dream of making it to the MLB.

Taylor Motter: "La Pesadilla"
Motter said that his nickname means "The Nightmare," and it is a self-proclaimed nickname, as he said that he is somewhat of a nightmare for opponents on the field.

Emilio Pagan: Last name
Pagan said that he is going to use his last name for Players Weekend due to being called up after the Mariners turned in their nickname choices.
Tribute patch: Mom, Dad, Brothers, Jordyn
Pagan said his wife has traveled with him since he went through the Minor Leagues. He also said that his parents molded him into the person he is today, along with his brothers always being there for baseball tournaments. The tribute is for them, as they made sacrifices for him in his career.

James Pazos: "Papa Paz"
Pazos got the name from his teammates at the University of San Diego, and it is something that stuck with him through his career.
Tribute patch: Mom, Dad, Sierra
He said that his tribute is to his parents and girlfriend, because they have been there since he started his career and have been very supportive of his endeavors.

David Phelps: "Phelpsy"
Phelps said his nickname is a play on his last name and something that he has been called throughout his life.
Tribute patch: Mom, Mike, Maria, Dad, Arp, Esp and Jep
Phelps said that the tribute is to honor his family, wife and kids, who have been by his side. So, this is a way to say thanks for always supporting him on his dreams.

Erasmo Ramirez: "Mito"
Ramirez said his family called him "Mito" when he was little, and it plays off his first name of Erasmo.

Carlos Ruiz: "Chooch"
Ruiz has been called "Chooch" since 2008, when he was with the Phillies, and it is supposedly a spinoff on a Colombian term.
Tribute patch: Mami , Esposa y Hugos
Ruiz is going to honor his family on his tribute patch. His family has meant a lot to him in his career.

Video: #PlayersWeekend is August 25-27

Marc Rzepczynski: "Zep"
Rzepczynski said he had the nickname since Little League, and he has gotten used to it. He added that he thought of sticking with it, because he thinks the shortened version of his last name is cool. He also contemplated going with "Scrabble," as fans struggle to spell and pronounce his last name.
Tribute patch: Mom and Dad
Rzepczynski said that he is honoring his parents, as he is an only child and they drove him to all of his Little League games. They had him stick with the sport, and his parents still watch every game.

Kyle Seager: "Corey's Brother"
Seager chose his nickname to have a little fun with his brother Corey Seager, who plays for the Dodgers. He said that the fans refer to him as "Corey's brother," so he wanted to use it for Players Weekend. It is all in good fun for him and his family.
Tribute patch: My Family
Seager wants to honor his family, as they showed him how to play the game of baseball.

Jean Segura: "El Mambo"
Segura said that he chose his nickname because "Mambo" is a variation of merengue music in the Dominican Republic. He grew up liking the music and uses it in his social media, so he decided to use the nickname.
Tribute patch: Robinson Cano
Segura said he wants to honor his teammate Cano, because Cano helped him become a better baseball player and got him more focused and on track when he needed it the most. They have worked out together, and Cano has given Segura advice on life, which has been a huge help to Segura.

Mariners manager Scott Servais: "Servy"
Servais' nickname is a play off his last name, and it is a nickname he got while playing in Little League that has stuck with him as a player and now as a manager.
Tribute patch: Mom and Dad
Servais wants to honor his parents, who have helped him play in the Majors and supported him as he transitioned to becoming a manager.

Danny Valencia: Last name
Valencia chose to use his last name, because he said he really doesn't have a creative nickname.
Tribute patch: Mom and Dad
Valencia said that he will pay tribute to his Mom and Dad, as they paved a way for him and sacrificed to allow him to chase his dreams.

Nick Vincent: "Hubba Hubba"
Vincent chose his nickname from his Little League team, as some of his friend's relatives called him "Hubba Hubba" when he came up to the plate or took the mound.
Tribute patch: Wife, Mom and Dad
Vincent will honor his wife and parents, as they have supported him and were with him each step of his journey to becoming a Major League pitcher.

Mike Zunino: Last name
Zunino is going to go with his last name, as he found out late about adding a nickname for Players Weekend. If he could've chosen one, it probably would have been "Z."
Tribute patch: Coach Joe
Zunino is going to honor one of his first Little League coaches, who he said was there to help him through high school and college. The coach is tight with the Zunino family, and he helped Zunino become a catcher. Zunino makes time to visit him during the offseason in Orlando, Fla.

Jaylon Thompson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Atlanta.

Seattle Mariners