Harper dusting off Mondo for Players' Weekend

August 23rd, 2018

WASHINGTON -- decided to sport an old family nickname on his back during the second Players' Weekend, which begins Friday night in New York.

Harper will wear the nickname "Mondo" on his back along with the No. 34 during the Nats' three game-series vs. the Mets at Citi Field as the Nationals sport colorful, non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs inspired by youth-league uniforms. Although no one around the Nationals refers to Harper by the nickname, it has stuck for the Harper family.

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"Everybody still calls me that," Harper said. "My entire family."

:: Players' Weekend presented by Valspar Stain ::

Harper credited his uncle for giving him the name -- although he was not exactly sure why -- when he was a child playing T-ball growing up with Cubs third baseman . For whatever reason, the name has stayed with Harper through the years, and he will get the chance to sport it this weekend.

Players' Weekend encourages players around MLB to express themselves and show fans their personalities and passions through their nicknames or uniforms.

Harper did not get to participate during the inaugural Players' Weekend one year ago -- he chose the nickname "Big Kid" then -- after he suffered a knee injury earlier that month. Despite being on the DL at the time, he still unveiled some new bats and cleats on his social-media accounts, including some colorful and tie-dye cleats, some donned with his favorite emojis and a bat with his face on it.

Harper did not give any insight into what kind of merchandise he might unveil this weekend at Citi Field, but he rarely misses a chance to put his personality on display, making him someone to keep an eye on this Players' Weekend.