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Astros Players Weekend nicknames explained

MLB.com @brianmctaggart

For the first time this weekend, players will wear colorful, non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs as part of the inaugural Players Weekend. The players will also have the opportunity to have a nickname placed on the back of the jerseys made by Majestic Athletic, as well as to wear and use uniquely colored and designed spikes, batting gloves, wristbands, compression sleeves, catcher's masks and bats. Some players chose to stick with their last name on their jersey.

Here's a breakdown of how the Astros are celebrating Players Weekend:

For the first time this weekend, players will wear colorful, non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs as part of the inaugural Players Weekend. The players will also have the opportunity to have a nickname placed on the back of the jerseys made by Majestic Athletic, as well as to wear and use uniquely colored and designed spikes, batting gloves, wristbands, compression sleeves, catcher's masks and bats. Some players chose to stick with their last name on their jersey.

Here's a breakdown of how the Astros are celebrating Players Weekend:

Manager A.J. Hinch
Tribute patch: Nine-- Hinch is paying tribute to former Stanford baseball coach Mark Marquess, who is retiring after 41 years. He wore No. 9.

Astros' Players Weekend gear available at MLBShop.com

Alex Bregman: "A-Breg"
Mashing up the first initial of a first name and first syllable of a surname are common these days, as Bregman shows.
Tribute patch: Brady -- Brady is Bregman's Godson, who has autism.

George Springer
Tribute patch: Mom and Dad -- Springer's dad, George Jr., played in the Little League World Series in 1976 and supported his son throughout his career. His mother, Laura, is a former gymnast who helped her son become a top-notch athlete.

Jake Marisnick: "Big Fudge"
When he was on the disabled list while playing for the Marlins a few years ago, Marisnick was admittedly eating too much junk food and his teammates -- including his close friend, Christian Yelich -- took notice, giving him the nickname "Big Fudge," which is also the nickname of a character named Marshall on the sitcom "How I Met Your Mother."
Tribute patch: Mom and Dad -- After his junior year in high school, Marisnick had a sit-down talk with his parents and told them he wanted to play baseball for a living and not play football. They supported him fully.

Marwin Gonzalez: "Margo"
Most Astros fans know the super-utility player by his first name, but those close to him call him Margo.

Yuli Gurriel: "El Yuli"
Gurriel has been such a huge part of the Astros' success this year, he's blossomed into a popular player with the fans. Feel free to call him "El Yuli."

Evan Gattis: "Bull"
This doesn't require much explanation. Gattis is certainly as strong as a bull.
Tribute patch: Mom and Dad -- His parents, Joe and Melynda, divorced when he was young, but they supported him through some dark times earlier in his life.

Carlos Beltran: "Ivan"
Ivan is Beltran's middle name, and those who are close to him in his hometown in Puerto Rico call him Ivan, instead of Carlos.

Brian McCann
Tribute patch: Rally Foundation -- McCann and his wife, Ashley, have been spokespeople for Rally Foundation since 2008. The Rally Foundation helps to raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer research.

Brad Peacock
Tribute patch: Mom and Dad -- His mother, Jacyne Peacock, coached Peacock's Little League team and even led it to a league title. His father, Jerry, is a retired police officer who has traveled all over the country in a motor home to watch his son pitch.

Will Harris: "Bill"
Harris says he never had a nickname growing up so he picked the shortened version of William. It was meant to be "a little witty," he said.
Tribute patch: Family -- Harris and his wife have a daughter named, Lily.

Josh Reddick: "Red Dawg"
Reddick wanted "Spiderman" on the back of his jersey, but instead chose the nickname he had as a child.
Tribute patch: Mom and Dad -- His father, Kenny, was as standout softball player who passed his gifts onto his son. Cut from his middle-school team twice, Kenny Reddick told Josh to take 150 swings a day in the backyard. His mother, Cheryl, supported him along the way.

Luke Gregerson: "Duke"
Gregerson's father, Duke, died on New Year's Day after battling cancer. Duke Gregerson was a standout softball player -- inducted into the 16-inch Softball Hall of Fame in Forest Park, Ill. -- whose greatest joy was supporting the career of Luke.
Tribute patch: Mom and Dad -- Duke and Cindy Gregerson were huge influences in raising Luke and their other kids.

Chris Devenski: "Devo The Dragon"
Double-A manager Rodney Linares gave Devenski the nickname "Dragon" for his tenacity on the mound.
Tribute patch: Mike and Shirley -- Mike and Shirley Devenski are Devenski's parents. Chris has called his father his No. 1 influence, and the pair became really close when Chris would travel with Mike around the country while he worked as the owner of a moving and storage company.

James Hoyt: "Hoyter"
Hoyter is simply a take on Hoyt's last name.
Tribute patch: Tony Phillips -- Phillips, the late former big leaguer, played with Hoyt in independent ball when he was 52 years old. He worked out with Hoyt and helped arrange him to get looks from pro teams.

Ken Giles: "100 Miles Giles"
Giles has used that nickname since he started pumping in 100-mph fastballs.
Tribute patch: Estele and Brody -- Estele is Giles' wife, who gave birth to their first child, Brody, a year ago.

Jose Altuve: "Tuve"
Brad Mills, Altuve's first big league manager, was probably the first to call him "Tuve."
Tribute patch: Family -- Altuve and his wife, Nina, welcomed their first child, a girl named Melanie Andrea, last year.

Collin McHugh: "Snap Dragon 2"
McHugh has teamed up with fellow right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. for joint nicknames. McCullers, who is on Minor League rehab, is "Snap Dragon 1." The nicknames are an homage to their curveballs.
Tribute patch: Coach Hop -- Coach Hop is Josh Hopper, who was McHugh's pitching coach at Berry College. Hopper is currently an assistant coach at UAB.

Francisco Liriano: "Liri"
One of the newest Astros is known to those close to him as "Liri."

Charlie Morton: "Ground Chuck"
Chuck, of course, is another name for Charles (or Charlie), and Morton has one of the best ground-ball rates in baseball. Thus, "Ground Chuck."
Tribute patch: Friends and Family

Mike Fiers: "Kai"
Kai is the name of Fiers' son, and he plans to give him the jersey as a keepsake.
Tribute patch: Family

Francis Martes: "Chanchi"
Martes said if you go to his hometown and ask about Francis Martes, few will know who you're looking for. But if you ask for "Chanchi," they know you are talking about the Astros' hard-throwing rookie.
Tribute patch: Ross Frainey -- Ross Frainey is the name of Martes' 3-year-old daughter, and it's also stitched onto his glove.

Joe Musgrove: "Moose"
Musgrove said "Moose" is the nickname he was given in high school, "like a big, friendly moose."
Tribute patch: Mark Musgrove -- When Musgrove was told in the spring he had made the Opening Day roster, the first person he called his was father, Mark, who was a big influence on his career.

Dallas Keuchel: "Kid Keuchy"
"Kid Keuchy" is Keuchel's long-time nickname, as well as his Twitter handle.

Tyler Clippard: "Clip"
If you're a baseball player with a two-syllable name, it's not uncommon for it to get shortened to one. Thus, "Clip."
Tribute patch: Mom and Dad -- Clippard's parents, Bob and Debbie Clippard, always put Tyler on good youth teams so he could compete with the best. Among his teammates on a Senior League team in 2001? Future Rockies stars Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.

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