CINCINNATI -- Brad Boxberger will make history in a couple of weeks in a unique way. The D-backs pitcher will be the first player to wear an emoji on his uniform during Major League Baseball's second-annual Players' Weekend on Aug. 24-26.Arizona hosts the Mariners for a three-game series that weekend.•
CINCINNATI -- Brad Boxberger will make history in a couple of weeks in a unique way. The D-backs pitcher will be the first player to wear an emoji on his uniform during Major League Baseball's second-annual Players' Weekend on Aug. 24-26.
Arizona hosts the Mariners for a three-game series that weekend.
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The back of Boxberger's uniform will boast a box emoji and a hamburger emoji, representing the first and second halves of his last name. It is something the right-hander says he wanted to do last year, but he did not get it approved in time.
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"My wife helped me come up with it when we were coming up with names last year," Boxberger said. "I just kind of went with it."
Boxberger says he first saw the uniform design about a week ago, when it was approved by Major League Baseball. Each player was able to pick a nickname and will have the chance to honor someone who inspired them or was influential in their development with a jersey patch on the right sleeve. Players will also be able to wear uniquely colored and designed equipment, including bats, cleats, batting gloves, wristbands, compression sleeves and catcher's gear. Boxberger liked the idea of being the first player to ever don an emoji.
"I guess it is a little different, but it is 2018, so anything can happen," Boxberger said. "It gives us a weekend to kind of get away from the strict guidelines of MLB's strict color schemes and all of that. It gives us a chance to show our personalities and explore the game a little bit further."
D-backs manager Torey Lovullo didn't know what an emoji was until about five years ago, but likes the concept of Players' Weekend and the opportunity for creativity it gives the players.
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"I think it fits perfectly," Lovullo said. "I think it shows how Major League Baseball is on the cutting edge and moving forward every day. We enjoy all of that."
Brian Scott Rippee is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cincinnati.