The Blue Jays will celebrate Players Weekend beginning Friday with special jerseys bearing nicknames chosen by the players. The jerseys will include patches showing the progression of a baseball player from Little Leagues to The Show, and include a white space where players can write the names of people who
The Blue Jays will celebrate Players Weekend beginning Friday with special jerseys bearing nicknames chosen by the players. The jerseys will include patches showing the progression of a baseball player from Little Leagues to The Show, and include a white space where players can write the names of people who were important in helping force their path to the Majors.
Players were not required to come up with nicknames to use, and some opted to use their last name instead.
The Blue Jays plan to use the nicknames on their scoreboard and announce them over the loudspeakers for their series with the Twins.
• Players Weekend gear available at MLBShop.com
Here is a list of nicknames players will use, and the people they will pay tribute to with their patches.
Darwin Barney: "Dar Bar"
The Blue Jays have a habit of calling teammate Danny Barnes "Barney" and Barney "Barnes," so Barney will ease the confusion and go with "Dar Bar."
Tribute patch: Lindsay, Hayden, Zoey, Devyn -- Barney is using his patch to thank his wife and kids for enduring his absences when he travels with the Blue Jays on the road. Without them, he says it would be even harder to go through the good and bad days of a baseball season.
Dominic Leone: "Dom"
Leone says Dom is a "basic, generic" nickname that stems from his first name.
Tribute patch: Mom, Dad and Matthew -- Leone chose his parents and brother, his biggest supporters.
Justin Smoak: "Moakey"
Some call Smoak "Smoaky," but he says his Latino teammates call him "Moakey," and that's the variation he chose.
Tribute patch: Dad -- Smoak chose his late father as a tribute to the man whom Smoak says introduced him to sports and taught him everything he knows about baseball.
Aaron Loup: "Loupy"
Like many players, Loup will use a variation of his name for Players Weekend.
Tribute patch: LL & FM -- Loup will use the initials of his late grandfathers, who he says played a significant role in the way he was brought up and shaping the person he is today.
Kevin Pillar: "Pill"
Pillar's usual "Superman" nickname was unavailable due to it being trademarked, so Pillar went with a variation of his name. He says he'll still be able to wear Superman cleats for Players Weekend, along with cleats he intends to use to raise money for a charity cause of his choice.
Tribute patch: Mom, Dad -- Pillar says his parents are a big reason he's made the Majors, and he wanted to pay tribute to them.
Miguel Montero: "Monty"
With two potential name-based nicknames in "Miggy" and "Monty," Montero opted for the latter.
Tribute patch: Mom and Dad -- Montero chose his mother and late father, whom he says battled with him growing up and drove him all over to baseball games. He says he is the person he is today because of them.
Dennis Tepera: "Tep"
Tepera will sport a shortened version of his last name on his Players Weekend jersey.
Tribute patch: Mom and Dad -- Tepera wants to thank his parents for helping along his long journey to the Majors.
Ryan Goins: "Go Go"
Goins will use the nickname his teammates call him, which is based on his last name.
Tribute patch: Granny, Brandon Filla -- Goins says he always played sports with his older brother growing up, and he pushed Goins to become a better player. His grandmother used to drive Goins around all over and acted as a disciplinarian, Goins says, so he wanted to thank her, too.
Rob Refsnyder: "Ref"
Refsnyder is using a shortened version of his last name, as are many players.
Tribute patch: No patch -- Refsnyder says he didn't know about the option to wear a patch but would have paid tribute to his mother, who is currently battling breast cancer.
Roberto Osuna: "No Panic"
Osuna's nickname comes from French Montana's song, "Don't Panic," which Osuna formerly used as his entrance music. He has been known to write the motto on his cleats as well.
Tribute patch: Gracias Dios, Gracias Familia -- Osuna thanks God and his family with his tribute patch.
Jose Bautista: "Joey Bats"
Bautista's famous nickname was coined by a server at PNC Park, who wrote it on a sign at a Blue Jays-Pirates game. Toronto's broadcast caught hold of it, and eventually when Bautista needed a handle to sign up for Twitter, he chose "Joey Bats," and it stuck.
Tribute patch: Mami -- Bautista says it was an easy choice to pay tribute to his mother, Sandra, whom he says had easily the biggest influence on his life growing up.
• Joey Bats to be big part of Players Weekend
Steve Pearce: "The Train"
Pearce wanted to use "Wayne Train," which plays off his middle name, but the phrase was trademarked.
Tribute patch: Family, friends & fans -- Pearce says the group of people he's paying tribute to is what baseball is all about. He plays for his friends and family and baseball wouldn't exist without the fans, he says.
Marco Estrada: "Estradabien"
Estrada says Bautista came up with the nickname, based on the Spanish words "Sera bien," meaning "will be well." Estrada adopted the "Estradabien" moniker for his fantasy football team last year and will use it again on Players Weekend.
Tribute patch: No patch -- Estrada didn't have a chance to write down anything for his patch, but would have liked to include his mom and his wife on the patch for being there for him for a long time, he says.
Danny Barnes: "Barnzy"
Barnes will use a variation of his last name, but jokes he wishes he had thought to use teammate Barney's last name instead.
Tribute patch: Mom and dad -- Barnes says he wanted to send a thank you to his parents for everything they've done for him.
Devon Travis: "The Baby"
Teammates call him that because they say all he does is eat and sleep when he's not on the diamond.
Tribute patch: Mom, Dad, Jordan and Jada -- Travis will honor his parents, brother and sister.
Norichika Aoki: "Nori"
Aoki will use a shortened version of his first name for Players Weekend.
Tribute patch: Family -- Aoki says without his family, he wouldn't be here in the Majors, and that nothing comes above family.
Troy Tulowitzki: "Tulo"
Tulowitzki's famous nickname is a shortened version of his last name.
Tribute patch: Big Dave, Dirtbags -- Tulowitzki pays homage to the Long Beach State baseball program, for which he played his college baseball.
Marcus Stroman: "Stro-Show"
A play on his last name, the nickname also conveys a truth, in that Stroman frequently puts on a show when he takes the mound.
Tribute patch: Love to the circle of day ones around me! --Stroman references his group of longtime friends and his family.
Kendrys Morales: "Mo Mo"
Morales will use a play on his last name for his Players Weekend jersey.
Tribute patch: Hanley, Kendrys Jr., Andrea -- Morales will wear the names of his children on his sleeve.
Josh Donaldson: "Bringer of Rain"
Donaldson has said that his nickname was lifted from the TV show "Spartacus: Blood and Sand," in which the gladiator Spartacus defeats a daunting foe in the arena and rain falls on a nation in drought immediately after. Donaldson liked the story and swiped the nickname for his Twitter handle.
J.A. Happ: "Happer"
"Happer" is an extension of his last name, which is a method many players will use for Players Weekend.
Tribute patch: Mom and Dad -- Happ will honor his parents with his arm patch.
Joe Biagini: "Genie"
Biagini will use a play on his last name for his Players Weekend nickname.
Tribute patch: God Mom Dad for your love -- Biagini thanks God and his family for the love they've provided him on his road to the Majors.
Aaron Sanchez: "Sanchize"
Sanchez's nickname is a play on his last name, but also a reflection of his importance to the organization. The 25-year-old pitcher is the reigning AL ERA champion.
Connor Mount is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg who covered the Blue Jays on Thursday.