CLEVELAND -- This weekend's American League Central showdown between the Indians and the Royals at Progressive Field will look different than previous series between the rival clubs. The three-game set, which began Friday, will see both teams sporting colorful, non-traditional uniforms as a part of Major League Baseball's first Players
CLEVELAND -- This weekend's American League Central showdown between the Indians and the Royals at Progressive Field will look different than previous series between the rival clubs. The three-game set, which began Friday, will see both teams sporting colorful, non-traditional uniforms as a part of Major League Baseball's first Players Weekend.
Every team in the big leagues will wear these unique jerseys from Friday through Sunday. Each player's jersey will feature a nickname that they chose, replacing the traditional last name format. While the majority of Indians will wear a nickname on the back of their jerseys, some players chose to stick with their last names.
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In addition to the nicknames, the uniforms will include specially made hats from New Era, socks from Stance and patches on the right sleeve of their jerseys which shows the progression of a player from Little League to the Majors. Each patch includes a white space where players can write the name or names of people they are thankful for in helping them during their journey to the Majors.
During each game at Progressive Field this weekend, the hosts on the video board at the ballpark will be wearing the jerseys all weekend. In between the final out and the postgame fireworks Friday and Saturday, the Indians will run graphics on the scoreboard explaining the players' nicknames.
Below is a full list of the nicknames that the Tribe will be sporting on the back of their respective jerseys, as well as the name that players wrote on their individual patches.
Cody Allen: "Pollo"
The nickname dates back to an inside joke between Indians' relievers a few seasons ago, where Allen was given the nickname "Chicken." Allen said that he wanted to put a little twist on the nickname, and since some of his Latin teammates call him "Pollo" -- the Spanish word for chicken -- he decided it was a perfect fit for Players Weekend.
Tribute patch: Mom and Dad -- Allen said that he chose to put his parents on the patch because they pushed him and supported him in everything that he did, helping him reach his dream of playing in the big leagues.
Shawn Armstrong: "Armie"
Like several of his teammates, the nickname is a variation of his last name. Armstrong said that his teammates have long called him "Armie."
Tribute patch: Mom and Dad -- Armstrong said that it seemed fitting to put his parents on the patch because they have been his biggest supporters.
Trevor Bauer: "Bauer Outage"
Bauer said that he was initially given the nickname in high school from his teammates. They would joke that Bauer would create a pitch that would cause the world to end, calling it a "Bauer Outage." Bauer said that the nickname has stuck since then, and has even made it his Twitter handle (@BauerOutage).
Tribute patch: Mom and Dad -- The right-hander said that he chose his parents, Warren and Kathy, because he said that they are the two most important people in his life.
Michael Brantley: "Dr. Smooth" -- On the disabled list
Based off his swing and approach at the plate, Brantley was given the nickname "Dr. Smooth" in 2012 by Cleveland sports writer Dennis Manoloff.
Tribute patch: Nina and Micki -- Like many other Tribe players, Brantley opted to put his parents on his patch.
Jay Bruce: "Bruuuce"
Although Bruce said that the number of u's in the nickname is debatable, the Tribe slugger got the nickname when he was called up to the Majors in 2008 with the Reds. The crowd would say "Bruuuce" whenever he came to the plate.
Tribute patch: Coach Brown -- Whenever Bruce thinks of his time playing Little League baseball, he thinks of Coach Greg Brown. Bruce said that the late Brown helped run the league he played in and was a big part of his young playing career.
Carlos Carrasco: "Cookie"
Carrasco was given the nickname "Cookie" from his teammates a few years back because the right-hander likes to eat a lot of cookies. The name stuck so well that Carrasco included it in his Twitter handle (@Cookie_Carrasco).
Tribute patch: Mi Familia -- The right-hander joined many of his teammates by writing his family on his patch. His family includes his parents, Luis and Maria, his wife, Karelis, and his children.
Mike Clevinger: "Sunshine"
Clevinger said his teammates have called him "Sunshine" -- because of his long hair -- since his first day in the big leagues. This could be in reference to the character Ronnie "Sunshine" Bass from the 2000 film "Remember the Titans."
Tribute patch: Monica Grace, Penelope Grace, Piper Lotus -- Clevinger chose to put his wife, Monica, and his two daughters on his patch. He said that they are his inspiration every time he takes the mound.
Edwin Encarnacion : "EE"
Like his teammate Brandon Guyer, Encarnacion's nickname comes from his initials.
Tribute patch: Edwin Jr. -- Encarnacion has opted to sport the name of his son on the patch on his sleeve.
Yan Gomes: "Gomer"
In his first season with Cleveland in 2013, Gomes was given the nickname from Indians manager Terry Francona. Gomes said that Francona is the only person that calls him "Gomer."
Tribute patch: Wife, Kids, Family -- Gomes said that he chose to put his family on the patch because everything he does is for them.
Erik Gonzalez: "La Parita"
Francona has said on numerous occasions that Gonzalez is an "elite" defender, as he serves as the Tribe's utility man. Because of his slick defensive ability, Indians team translator Anna Bolton said that "La Parita" roughly translates to "stopper."
Tribute patch: Ramon y Xiomara -- Gonzalez wanted to honor his mother and his father by writing their names on his patch.
Nicholas Goody: "Goods"
Goody said that his high school baseball coach, Kevin Bass, and teammates used to call him "Goods."
Tribute patch: Kevin Bass -- Since he chose the nickname for the back of his jersey, Goody thought it would be fitting to put Bass' name on the patch. The Indians reliever said he will give Bass the jersey at the end of the weekend.
Guyer's nickname comes from his initials, and it is a name that his teammates have long called him.
Tribute patch: Family -- Guyer said that he chose his family because they are the No. 1 reason he plays baseball and that they are "everything" to him.
Austin Jackson: "AJax"
Jackson first received the nickname while he was in the Minor Leagues. The Indians outfielder said that it began with "AJack," but it evolved into "AJax" over time. He said he does not remember who exactly gave him the nickname, but it is a name that has stuck with him throughout his professional career.
Tribute patch: Alice and Albert Jackson, Jamaal Jackson, Jonna and Bryson Jackson -- Alice and Albert are Jackson's parents, Jamaal is his brother, Jonna is his wife and Bryson is his son. Jackson said he chose to put his family because they have stuck with him throughout all of his ups and downs.
Jason Kipnis: "Kip" -- On the disabled list
Kipnis' nickname is also a shortened version of his last name. He is commonly referred to as "Kip" by Indians' players, coaches and fans alike.
Corey Kluber: "Klubes"
Kluber does not know who first gave him the nickname, but he said that he chose "Klubes" because it is what his teammates have called him over the years.
Francisco Lindor: "Mr. Smile"
Known for sporting his infectious smile while on the diamond, Lindor thought that the nickname "Mr. Smile" made the most sense for Players Weekend. The shortstop said that he chose the name because he smiles a lot and that the name is something that fans could relate to.
Tribute patch: Miguel, Legna, Maria, Fransua, Christian, y Mi Gran Dios -- Lindor wrote God and the names of his parents (Miguel and Maria), his brother (Christian) and his two sisters. He noted that he wouldn't be where he is today without God's blessings and the love and guidance of his family.
Zach McAllister: "Z-Mac"
McAllister said that he has had the nickname "Z-Mac" since he was a kid. His father, Steve, is commonly referred to as "Mac" by his friends, and McAllister said that he got his nickname as a result.
Tribute patch: Mom and Dad -- McAllister said he wrote his parents on the patch to give them the respect that they deserve for all of the work they did to allow him to play baseball growing up.
Andrew Miller: "Miller Time" -- On the disabled list
Miller thought "Miller Time" was a natural fit. The lefty reliever noted that his teammates don't call him the name very often, but he sees it on the video board at Progressive Field when he enters the game.
Tribute patch: Mom and Dad -- Even though Miller stated that "Mom and Dad" is a very popular choice, he said that he wouldn't want to put any other people down before them on his patch. He said he wouldn't be a Major Leaguer without their support.
Tyler Olson: "Oly"
Both Olson and his grandfather were given the nickname "Oly" as they grew up playing baseball. Because of this, Olson said that he wanted to stick with the nickname as well as honor his grandfather during Players Weekend.
Tribute patch: Don Ressa -- Olson opted to put his high school coach, Don Ressa, on his patch. Olson said that Ressa taught him "how to play the game hard, how to play it right and, at that age, how to demand doing things the right way."
Dan Otero: "OT"
Otero had never been called "OT" until he joined the Indians in 2016. The reliever said that the team's coaches and players started calling him the nickname in Spring Training last season, and it has stuck ever since.
Tribute patch: Mom and Dad and TKM -- Otero said he wrote his parents, Jorge and Patti, on the patch because of the time that they both put in to allow him to play baseball as a child. Otero said that "TKM" are the initials of his wife, Tiffany, and two daughters, Kinsley and Macey.
Roberto Perez: "Bebo"
Perez has had the nickname "Bebo" since he was a child. The catcher said that his family and friends in his native land of Puerto Rico called him the nickname while he grew up, and still call him that to this day.
Tribute patch: Lilliam Martinez -- Perez said that he put his mother on the patch because she served the role of both mother and father for him and his brothers.
Tribute patch: Xiomara Ramirez -- On his patch, Ramirez wrote the name of his mother.
Danny Salazar: "Sally" -- On the disabled list
Salazar is another Tribe player that used a nickname that comes from his last name.
Tribute patch: Daniel Salazar -- Salazar chose to honor his father, Daniel, by writing his name on the patch.
Carlos Santana: "Slamtana"
Santana's nickname was inspired by his last name. The first baseman also uses the nickname in his Twitter handle, @TheRealSlamtana.
Tribute patch: Luna, Savian, David -- Santana wrote the names of his two daughters (Luna and Savian) and his son (David) on his patch.
Bryan Shaw: "Geek"
Whenever someone in the Indians' clubhouse has a problem with their tablet, laptop or any other electronics, they normally go to Shaw for help. Because of this, Shaw chose "Geek" as his nickname.
Tribute patch: Family -- Shaw said that he didn't want to single out anyone specific in his family, noting that there were several loved ones that helped him get to where he is today.
Joe Smith: "Sidewinder"
Smith's nickname is inspired by his sidearm/submarine delivery on the mound.
Tribute patch: Mom & Dad -- Smith joined many of his teammates by acknowledging his parents on the patch.
Josh Tomlin: "Scrubs" -- On the disabled list
Tomlin said that his former Indians teammate Frank Herrmann would joke that Tomlin was a "scrub athlete." Ever since, Tomlin said that his teammates make that joke about him. The Indians starter thought that it would be funny to make "Scrubs" his nickname as a result.
Tribute patch: My Family
Giovanny Urshela: "Gio"
Urshela chose the nickname "Gio" because that is what his teammates commonly call him.
Tribute patch: Alvardo Uldy -- Urshela is honoring his father by wearing his name, Alvardo Uldy, on the patch.
Bradley Zimmer: "Machine"
Zimmer said that the nickname "Machine" originates from his first Spring Training with the Indians in 2014, when he was hit in the ribs with a 97-mph fastball. Zimmer finished the game, and was later checked out by the training staff. Zimmer said that the ball did not leave any kind of mark on him, which prompted Brantley to call him a machine.
Tribute patch: Cathy Hutchins -- Eric Zimmer -- Zimmer decided to put his mother and his father on his patch. He said that they are his two biggest supporters and that they deserve as much credit for his success as he gets.
The game-worn jerseys will later be auctioned at MLB.com/auctions, with 100 percent of the net proceeds going to the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation, which was established in 2015. The joint venture of MLB and the MLBPA had an initial commitment of $30 million, focused on improving the caliber, effectiveness and availability of amateur baseball and softball programs in the United States and Canada.
William Kosileski is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland.