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'Bat Boy' Davies stands tall for young players

MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- Zach Davies used his Players Weekend uniform as a platform to send a message to youth across the world.

Davies, who will start for the Brewers in Saturday's game against the Dodgers, chose "Bat Boy" as the nickname on the back of his jersey, which he'll wear as a part of the inaugural Players Weekend across MLB.

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LOS ANGELES -- Zach Davies used his Players Weekend uniform as a platform to send a message to youth across the world.

Davies, who will start for the Brewers in Saturday's game against the Dodgers, chose "Bat Boy" as the nickname on the back of his jersey, which he'll wear as a part of the inaugural Players Weekend across MLB.

View Full Game Coverage

The Brewers generously list Davies as 6-feet and 155 pounds, and his boyish looks make "Bat Boy" a good fit for the right-hander. For Davies, the moniker is a chance to remind people that anything is possible.

"It was something where you can be small, you can be anything, and you can play this game," said Davies, who is 14-7 with a 4.09 ERA in his first full season in the Brewers' rotation. "I've always said that being smart, having a skill set and then just the passion for the game has always been something of mine that I've taken to heart. It's proven that it's worked for me, and I know that it can work for other guys that have similar body frames.

"That's the biggest thing for me, showing that I'll take on the role of 'Bat Boy.' I'll take on that persona and show that I can play this game, too, and it should help other guys feel that it's possible."

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Eric Thames, who leads the Brewers with 27 home runs, said Davies has one of the best Players Weekend nicknames on the club.

"He looks like a bat boy," Thames said.

Thames chose "Sang Namja" as his Players Weekend nickname. Literally translated, it means "real man or "manly" in Korean, though Korean media members say it more loosely translates to "bada--." Thames played in Korea from 2014-16 and became a fan favorite while hitting 124 homers in three seasons.

"This whole thing is about having fun and having fun with your teammates," Thames said.

Tweet from @travis_shaw21: Ready to roll tonight in LA🔥...thanks to @sluggernation for the lumber as well for #playersweekend should be a fun weekend #LouisvilleLoyal pic.twitter.com/ASbM9maWWQ

The inaugural Players Weekend gives players an opportunity to showcase their personalities and allows fans to get to know them better. The initiative was established in conjunction between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association.

In addition to nicknames on the back of their jerseys, players also have patches on their sleeves that pay tribute to a person or persons who aided their career. Players are also allowed to wear and use uniquely colored and designed spikes, batting gloves, wristbands, compression sleeves, catcher's masks and bats. New Era provided specially designed hats, and Stance provided colorful socks.

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"There's going to be a lot of color on the field, with the cleats and the bats and all the stuff," Thames said. "It's going to be fun. There's no rules this weekend, so everybody is taking advantage."

Tweet from @Gdeuceswild: Going with the Count von Count's tonight!#PlayersWeekend #Forthekids pic.twitter.com/Y0v1goNkfF

Eric Sogard, aka "Nerd Power," had his kids paint his spikes, while Matt Garza, "The Count," received a pair of personalized cleats from Jordan Brand.

Jared Hughes went all in with his "Bull" nickname and shaved his head in a nod to the character from the 1980s sitcom "Night Court," which featured a bailiff with a passing resemblance to the relief pitcher.

"I think the players have really taken to this weekend for sure," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "I think they're excited about it, and they get to make some of their own choices, which I think is what they always enjoy. Our guys are looking forward to it for sure."

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Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. He covered the Brewers on Friday.

Milwaukee Brewers