ST. PETERSBURG -- The inaugural Players Weekend began Friday, with players wearing non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs along with special patches.Players have the opportunity to have a nickname placed on the back of the jerseys made by Majestic Athletic, as well as wear and use uniquely colored and designed spikes,
ST. PETERSBURG -- The inaugural Players Weekend began Friday, with players wearing non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs along with special patches.
Players have the opportunity to have a nickname placed on the back of the jerseys made by Majestic Athletic, as well as wear and use uniquely colored and designed spikes, batting gloves, wristbands, compression sleeves, catcher's masks and bats.
"I don't think we'll see much, much different," Evan Longoria said. "I'm sure there will be guys who go above and beyond. But I think baseball as a whole has definitely got a lot better at letting guys express themselves through the course of the year."
•Players Weekend gear available at MLBShop.com
Players are wearing specially designed caps by New Era, and unique socks from Stance. During pregame workouts and postgame interviews, they will wear T-shirts highlighting a charity or cause of their choice.
Also, each player 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 every player will mark a 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% of net proceeds donated to the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation, 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.
Kevin Cash: Using last name
Chris Archer: "Flaco Fuerte"
"Orestes Destrade called me that after grabbing my arm. It means skinny strong."
Peter Bourjos: "The Needler"
"I got the nickname because Logan Morrison says I like to stir things up."
Tribute patch: Mom, Dad, Wife, Kids, and Sister
Brad Boxberger: "Box"
Abbreviation of his last name
Tribute patch: Mother, Father, Wife (Ana), Daughter (Ava), Son (Braxton) -- "All the important people."
Steve Cishek: "Speedpass"
"My first job was as a Mobile gas attendent in Falmouth, Mass. One of my friends drove past and yelled, "Fill it up, Speedpass."
Tribute patch: Parents
Tribute patch: Mother, Father, Wife (Kelly), Brother (R.J.), Dogs (Axel and Oscar) -- "I tried to put everybody in my immediate family on there that was impactful in my progresion coming up, not only in baseball, but in life. I started thinking about everything they've done -- my mom, my dad, my brother, my wife, and my dogs. I had to add them in there too, because they're fun to come home to every day. I think it's nice we're able to show a little appreciation to the people that have helped us."
Alex Colome: "The Horse"
"My teammates tell me when I come in and am on the mound, 'You're like a horse.' When I played for the Marlins, I pounced."
Tribute patch: Mi Familia -- "That includes all of my family and friends."
Tribute patch: Wife, Beth Anne, and son, Davis -- "A lot of people don't understand what goes on getting to the Major Leagues and the struggles you go through. They're always there for me with their support."
Lucas Duda: "Dude"
Plays off his last name.
Tribute patch: Mother (Ellenor), Father (David) -- "I owe everything to them. I'm very thankful and appreciative for everything they've done."
Adeiny Hechavarria: "La Pantera"
"When I played for the Marlins, I pounced on a pop fly. After that I was 'La Pantera' or panther."
Tribute patch: Dios -- Spanish for "God."
Chih-Wei Hu: "Who?"
A play on the pronunciation of his last name.
Tommy Hunter: "Two Towel"
"Should be 'Two Towels' because it takes two clubhouse towels to wrap around my waist."
Tribute patch: Parents (Pam and Ray), sister (Megan), wife (Ellen), and son (Henry). Also his high school coach Rich Andriole -- "Of course, my family, they all helped me along the way. [Andriole] is a good man. He's gone through everything with me, he's given me pep talks. He's always been in my corner."
Dan Jennings: "D.J."
Tribute patch: Mother (Janet), Father (Bob), and his college summer coach (Jeff Opalewski) -- "They all helped to get me here."
Kevin Kiermaier: "The Outlaw"
Kiermaier's nickname comes from the way he steals hits from opposing batters.
Tribute patch: His parents
Evan Longoria: "Longo"
Abbreviation for his last name.
Tribute patch: Mother and Father -- "I wouldn't be here without them. They used to drive me around everywhere."
Brad Miller: "Rat"
Comes from Miller being known as a baseball rat.
Tribute patch: AG, Coach Chet -- "A.G., those are my grandfather's initials. Coach Chet was the coach of my travel ball team. He is Chet Lemon, who played in the Major Leagues."
Logan Morrison: "Lo-Mo"
Play off his name.
Tribute patch: Father (Tom Morrison) and Mother (Diane Morrison)
Jake Odorizzi: "Odo"
Play on his last name.
Tribute patch: His wife (Carissa) and son (Rhett)
Cesar Puello: Using last name
Austin Pruitt: Using last name
Tribute patch: His parents (Gary and Kippy) -- "They've been there every step of the way."
Wilson Ramos: "The Buffalo"
"I was catching one day, and it was one of those rough days," Ramos said. "I'm catching all kinds of heat. Balls were hitting me all over the place, and I'm getting bruises all over my arms. [Former teammate] Ian Desmond tells me, 'I don't know how you do it. No matter what happens, you're always ready to go. You're a buffalo.' After that I was 'The Buffalo.'"
Tribute patch: Mama Familia "Abuelo" God -- "Family is important."
• Ramos runs with Buffalo on Players Weekend
Daniel Robertson: "D-Rob"
Play on his name.
Tribute patch: Mother (Julie), Father (Don) -- "They made all kinds of sacrifices."
Sergio Romo: "El Mechon"
Romo's nickname comes from the name of his favorite song.
Tribute patch: Sons (Rilen, Rex, and Rhys) -- "My boys."
Blake Snell: "Zilla"
Snell's Twitter handle is @snellzilla, so this is a play off that.
Tribute patch: His father, Dave Snell -- His father helped him get to where he is.
Steven Souza Jr.: "Souzbot"
"The goggles I use, [teammates] think I'm a robot, but Brad Miller gave me the name. Also, when we were on a flight from New York last September, I started dancing in my stance. And everybody was like, "Bot."
Tribute patch: Wife (Mikaela) and his first farm director (Doug Harris) -- "I couldn't have gone through this journey without my wife."
Jesus Sucre: "Sooky"
Play off his last name
Tribute patch: Mi Vieja -- His late mother.
Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2004.