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Explaining Cubs Players Weekend nicknames

MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- What's in a nickname?

Maybe it's just a morphing of your given name, like "J-Hey" for Jason Heyward. Maybe it is just an easily recognized rhyme, like Jake Arrieta's "The Snake". Maybe it is in recognition of a particular skill set, like Javier Baez's "El Mago." In other cases, as with Alex Avila's "Parkman," perhaps the meaning requires an explanation.

CINCINNATI -- What's in a nickname?

Maybe it's just a morphing of your given name, like "J-Hey" for Jason Heyward. Maybe it is just an easily recognized rhyme, like Jake Arrieta's "The Snake". Maybe it is in recognition of a particular skill set, like Javier Baez's "El Mago." In other cases, as with Alex Avila's "Parkman," perhaps the meaning requires an explanation.

Fans will be able to put a nickname with a face Friday-Sunday in Philadelphia as the Cubs will wear special edition jerseys as part of the inaugural Players Weekend. The non-traditional uniforms feature alternate designs, and players will have their nicknames on the back.

Players Weekend gear available at MLBShop.com

Cubs outfielder Jon Jay will wear a jersey with "305J" as his nickname, the area code for Miami, Jay's hometown. He attended George Washington Carver Middle School, Christopher Columbus High School (which won the state baseball championship during Jay's senior year) and spent three years at the University of Miami.

"Miami is the city that raised me," Jay said. "I have a lot of pride in that city. I learned a lot of life lessons there that made me who I am today."

Players Weekend FAQ

And what about "Parkman?"

"I don't know who first started calling me that," Avila said. "Somebody thought, when I had my gear on, there was a resemblance to a character in [the movie] Major League II.

"When I was at the [2011] All-Star Game, Adrian Gonzalez noticed it and was telling people I looked like Parkman, and it just kind of spread. Then one of my teammates in Detroit told [MLB] after I was traded to Chicago to put that name on my shirt."

Players Weekend: Nicknames of the game

Besides the jerseys, made by Majestic Athletic, the players will wear uniquely colored and designed spikes, batting gloves, wristbands, compression sleeves and catcher's masks. Even the bats will get jazzed up that weekend. The caps are designed by New Era, and the socks by Stance. During pregame workouts and postgame interviews, players will wear T-shirts to highlight a charity or cause of their choice.

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, and players can mark the name of a person whom they are grateful to for helping them advance their careers, such as family or a coach.

Game-worn Players Weekend jerseys will be auctioned at MLB.com/auctions with 100 percent of the net proceeds donated to the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation. That foundation is a joint effort established in July 2015 by MLB and the MLBPA with an initial commitment of $30 million focused on improving the caliber, effectiveness and availability of amateur baseball and softball programs across the U.S. and Canada.

CHICAGO CUBS

Albert Almora Jr.: "Tico"
His father is Alberto, and Albert is known by family as "Albertico," hence "Tico."
Tribute patch: Mom & Dad

Jake Arrieta: "Snake"
"Snake" rhymes with "Jake," and is also a natural tie to WWE legend Jake "The Snake" Roberts, who filmed an encouraging message for Arrieta and the Cubs prior to Game 6 of last year's World Series.
Tribute patch: Lynda Arrieta (mom)

Alex Avila: "Parkman"
"It's from Jack Parkman, the character in [the movie] Major League II," Avila said. "I guess there's a [physical] resemblance."
Tribute patch: Mom & Dad

Javier Baez: "El Mago"
Spanish for "The Magician," Baez was given the nickname by fans in Puerto Rico after some impressive, almost magical, fielding during the 2016 postseason.
Tribute patch: God & Family

Willson Contreras: "Willy"
Tribute patch: Abuelo Ernesto Mom & Dad

Wade Davis: "Wader"
Tribute patch: Dad, LW Little League (Lake Wales, Fla.)

Brian Duensing: "Deuce"
Tribute patch: Mom & Dad

Carl Edwards Jr.: "Carl's Jr."
The nickname is a natural play on the fast-food burger chain. An endorsement seems like a perfect match, and although Edwards said he likes the product, he was not ready to commit to just one hamburger.
Tribute patch: Carl and Faith Edwards (parents)

Justin Grimm: "Reaper"
Tribute patch: Mom & Dad

Ian Happ: "Happer"
Tribute patch: Keith & Chris Happ (dad and brother)

Jason Heyward: "J-Hey"
Tribute patch: Eugene & Laura (parents)

Kyle Hendricks "Hendo"
Tribute patch: Mom & Dad

Jon Jay: "305J"
The area code for Miami, Jay's hometown.
Tribute patch: Mom

John Lackey: "Lack"
Tribute patch: Mom & Dad

Tommy La Stella: Using last name

Mike Montgomery: "Monty"
Tribute patch: Mom & Dad

Felix Pena: "Ricardon"
"Ricardo" is Pena's middle name.

Jose Quintana: "Q"
Tribute patch: Ariadna and Abel (parents)

Anthony Rizzo: "Tony"
Tribute patch: Mom & Dad

Hector Rondon: "Rondi"
Tribute patch: Ian Jose (son), Dafnee (daughter), Sophia (daughter), Benito (dad), Lissy (mom)

Addison Russell: "Addy"
Tribute patch: Wayne & Milany Russell

Kyle Schwarber: "Schwarbs"
Tribute patch: Mom & Dad

Pedro Strop: "Stropy"
Tribute patch: Manuel (dad)

Koji Uehara: "Koji"
Tribute patch: Ryuji & Tomoko (parents)

Justin Wilson: "J-Willy"
Tribute patch: Family

Ben Zobrist: "Zorilla"
"I started calling him that in 2008 when we were both with Tampa Bay and he really came on strong," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "It's sort of the antithesis of the man, but, as a player, it fits him perfectly."
Tribute patch: Mom & Dad

Andy Call is a contributor to MLB.com based in Cincinnati.

Chicago Cubs