Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Cards' Players Weekend nicknames explained

MLB.com

ST. LOUIS -- The inaugural Players Weekend begins Friday, providing Cardinals' players the opportunity to wear colorful, non-traditional jerseys that will feature special patches.

Players have the chance to wear a nickname of their choosing on the back of the jerseys, though some did elect to keep their last names. In addition to the jerseys, players will wear specially-designed caps by New Era and unique socks from Stance.

ST. LOUIS -- The inaugural Players Weekend begins Friday, providing Cardinals' players the opportunity to wear colorful, non-traditional jerseys that will feature special patches.

Players have the chance to wear a nickname of their choosing on the back of the jerseys, though some did elect to keep their last names. In addition to the jerseys, players will wear specially-designed caps by New Era and unique socks from Stance.

Each player also will wear a special patch on his sleeve showing the progression of a child evolving into a Major Leaguer. Under that logo is white space where players can mark the name of a person who helped them advance their careers, such as family or a coach.

Cards' Players Weekend gear available at MLBShop.com

As part of the Players Weekend initiative, the Cardinals will invite kids to interview a player about 55 minutes before first pitch each of the next three days beginning Friday. The interviews will be shown live on the videoboard and televisions throughout the stadium. Kids will be chosen at random by Team Fredbird.

Here's a breakdown of the Cardials' nicknames and patches:

Matt Bowman: "Bowman"
Tribute patch: Mom and Dad! -- Bowman recognized his mother, Margaret, and father, William, who passed away in 2010, by adding their names to both sides of his jersey. He added some pizzazz by putting an exclamation mark at the end on one side, a decision he has come to regret, however, as he said it looks a bit over the top.

John Brebbia: "Brebbia"
Tribute patch: Mom & Dad/Amanda -- Making the decision to put his mother and father, dad and wife, Amanda, on his jersey was easy for Brebbia, who credits the three members of his family for pushing him to continue to fight to get into the Majors after spending time in the independent leagues.

Matt Carpenter: "Carp"
As is the case for many Cardinals players, Carpenter's go-to nickname is a shortened version of his last name. "Carp" is what he is most commonly referred to among his teammates.
Tribute patch: Mom* Dad -- His parents, Rick and Tammie, have played crucial roles in his life. His father served as his baseball coach throughout high school and is still a high school coach.

Brett Cecil: "Cecil"
Tribute patch: My Dad Duane, My Mom Linda, and my wife Jennifer -- Both his parents and Cecil's wife have sacrificed much for him to be where he is today. He does his best to help out, including taking the kids to school when he can, one way he tries to thank his wife for being on "this rollercoaster ride" with him.

Paul DeJong: "DeJong"
Tribute patch: Family -- While he couldn't put the trademarked name "Pauly D" on the back of his jersey, DeJong had the easy decision of giving credit to the people that have been there "every step of the way" and "fostered [his] love for baseball."

 Zach Duke: "Duke"
Tribute patch: Mom & Dad -- Duke's parents made his decision simple as he credits them as always being there for him throughout his life and baseball career, including during his battle back from Tommy John surgery over the past year.

Dexter Fowler: "Dex"
While his nickname is a shortened version of his full name, like many of his teammates, Fowler's differs some as it is an abbreviation of his first name. The center fielder is commonly referred to as simply "Dex."
Tribute patch: Mom & Dad/God -- His father, John, coached youth baseball and played a major role in his development as a baseball player. Both his father and his mother, Trudy, gave him advice along the way that has helped him throughout his career.

Greg Garcia: "Garcia"
Tribute patch: 3G Family -- The family nickname is something that Garcia's dad, Dave, a former Minor League player, came up with as a way to refer to Greg and his two brothers, Aaron and Drew, who played Minor League baseball. The name came before everyone referred to "3G" as the data that is used on their phones, something that the family was made fun for later on.

Randal Grichuk: "Grich"
Like many other players, Grichuk's go-to nickname is simply a shorter version of his last name, although "Grich" wasn't something that he was called often before he started playing professional baseball.
Tribute patch: Dad -- Grichuk chose to honor just his dad, George, as he was the person who fostered his "love for the game." Whenever anything comes to mind "baseball wise" for the outfielder, his father is often linked to the thought.

Jedd Gyorko: "Gyorko"
Tribute patch: Family -- With Gyorko and his wife, Karley, adding a daughter, Brooklyn, to the family in May, the space provided on the jerseys "wasn't big enough to fit everybody on there," nor did he want to leave anyone out. Picking the group that he's closest to seemed to fit the spot perfectly.

Carson Kelly: "Kelly"
Tribute patch: Mom and Dad -- Making the choice to go with his biggest role models wasn't hard for Kelly, who still calls his parents, Traci and Mike, to ask for help in a variety of situations. His only regret was leaving off his brother, Parker, whom he says has always been there to "help him out."

Lance Lynn: "Lynn"
Lynn will be wearing his last name on his jersey.

Mike Leake: "Sparky"
The right-hander earned his unique nickname from the Cardinals' traveling secretary, CJ Cherre, who has called him that since his first day in the organization. Other members of the Cardinals also use that name when referring to him.
Tribute patch: Mom, Dad, Bro, & The Ol' Lady -- The "Ol' Lady" moniker is a joke in reference to his wife, who he counts among the people who have been there the most through his journey.

Tyler Lyons: "Lyons"
Tribute patch: Mom & Dad -- His parents, Monte and Lori, were the ones who took him "from tournament to tournament" as a kid playing baseball. He credits everything they've done for allowing him to be where he is today.

Carlos Martinez: "Tsunami"
Martinez first earned his nickname as a member of the Dominican Summer League, where he performed at a very high level. A fan yelled out that Martinez was like "a Tsunami taking over the league" during a game. The nickname has stuck ever since.
Tribute patch: Mom/Grandma -- After his mother passed away when he was eight months old, Martinez was raised by his grandmother, Marta, in the Dominican Republic. He credits her for giving him the opportunity to be where he is today.

Jose Martinez: "Cafe"
Martinez's nickname recognizes his late father and former Major Leaguer, Carlos, who was called "Cafe," a nickname well known in Venezuela. He has been told that he looks exactly like his father.
Tribute patch: Familia -- With the majority of his family living in Venezuela, they are experiencing some tough times. His patch is a tribute to everyone he loves back home. He grew up especially close to his mom, Evelyn, who came to see him play in the Major Leagues earlier this year.

Yadier Molina: "Yadi"
While the catcher doesn't have a particularly long name, he is known by most, teammates and Cardinals fans alike, as simply "Yadi." The shortened version of his name is heard both in chants when he steps to the mound and in the clubhouse, making it the perfect choice for his jersey.
Tribute patch: Mai, Pai, Ben, Cheo -- The veteran took advantage of the opportunity to pay tribute to his mother and father, Gladys and Benjamín, in addition to his two siblings who were also Major League catchers, Bengie and Jose.

Tommy Pham: "T. Pham"
Pham's decision wasn't difficult as his friends back in Las Vegas have been using the nickname since he was in high school.
Tribute patch: Mom, Bandi, Nana, Kruger -- After spending 11 years in the Minor Leagues, Pham credits his family as being four of the people who have had his back through it all. He included his grandmother, Bandi, which means "grandma'"in Vietnamese and his stepfather, Kruger, who are among the people that have been with him through injuries and many hurdles.

Stephen Piscotty: "MoMo"
Piscotty said he picked up the nickname when he was playing Little League Baseball at the age of about 6 years old. He's wearing it now as "as a way to recognize family back home."
Tribute patch: Mom -- His mother, Gretchen, was diagnosed with ALS earlier this year, and Piscotty said he chose to honor her because "she deserves the spotlight right now."

Seung Hwan Oh: "Oh Seung Hwan" [In Korean]
Oh took advantage of the opportunity to represent his home country of South Korea with his jersey choice. While his name in Korean characters wasn't originally approved by MLB, the reliever was ultimately able to wear his name in his native language as a member of the Cardinals.
Tribute patch: My Family [In Korean] -- With the opportunity to go even more creative on his patches, Oh recognized his family, by writing "My Family" in Korean.

Oh's Players Weekend jersey

Ryan Sherriff: "Sherriff"
Sherriff will be wearing his last name on his jersey.

Sam Tuivailala: "Tui"
After being called a variety of nicknames when he was younger, including "Lala" and "Sammy," Tui stuck through his baseball career. The name originated in middle school and has remained with him due to being much easier to say than his last name.

Michael Wacha: "Wach"
Similar to many players on the Cardinals roster, Wacha is commonly called by a shortened version of his last name. The nickname "Wach" first originated in high school.
Tribute patch: Mom & Dad -- Wacha wanted to give his parents, Tom and Karen, the recognition they deserve as he credits them for being the reason "he is where he is."

Luke Weaver: "Weaver"
Tribute patch: Jesus Christ Family -- When he was growing up, Weaver's father, Mark, would come home from a long day of work to help his son practice baseball. For moments like those and so many more, the rookie pitcher wants to "let the world see" two of the most important things in his life on his jersey.

Kolten Wong: "Wonger"
While Wong never earned a moniker while he was growing up, "Wonger" was an easy choice as he's "just been called that since [he] was a little kid" and the practice has continued all the way into the Major Leagues.
Tribute patch: Mom&Dad My Ohana -- Wanting to represent his home state of Hawaii, Wong chose "Ohana," which means family in Hawaiian, on one of the patches. For him, it serves as a tribute to the people that without he "wouldn't be playing baseball."

Alaina Getzenberg is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Louis.

St. Louis Cardinals