The origin of Royals right-hander Peter Moylan's chosen nickname for Players Weekend (Aug. 25-27) comes from an unlikely source: Australian cricket.On Players Weekend, a collaboration between MLB and the MLB Players Association, all players will wear colorful, non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs. And they will be allowed to use nicknames
The origin of Royals right-hander Peter Moylan's chosen nickname for Players Weekend (Aug. 25-27) comes from an unlikely source: Australian cricket.
On Players Weekend, a collaboration between MLB and the MLB Players Association, all players will wear colorful, non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs. And they will be allowed to use nicknames in place of their surnames on jerseys.
Moylan, an Australia native, chose "Sledge," an Australian slang term for trash-talking in cricket.
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"I grew up watching Aussie cricket teams that prided themselves on the ability to sledge," Moylan said. "Guys like Ian Healy and Adam Gilchrist -- they were legends at sledging.
"It was just part of cricket and part of growing up. It's also part of what keeps me grounded. All my friends back home, they say, 'Ooh, you're in the big leagues.' But then they sledge me and keep it real. It's just how we grew up. You don't let someone get too full of themselves."
And yes, Moylan does some sledging with his Royals teammates.
"I don't do it on the field, more in the clubhouse," Moylan said.
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Moylan also points out that sledging, while related to American sports trash-talking, is not nearly as mean-spirited.
"In Australia, it's not personal," Moylan said. "It's more personal here. It's more funny in Australia."
Moylan even named his famous espresso concoction that he serves to teammates daily the "Sledge-iatto."
The jerseys that players will wear on Players Weekend are made by Majestic Athletic. Players will also wear and use uniquely colored and designed spikes, batting gloves, wristbands, compression sleeves, catcher's masks and bats.
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Players will wear 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 players will fill it with the name of someone who helped them advance their careers, such as a family or a coach.
Game-worn, Players Weekend jerseys will be auctioned at MLB.com/auctions with 100 percent 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.
The uniforms will first be worn by the Pirates and Cardinals during the MLB Little League Classic to be played in Williamsport, Pa., on Sunday, Aug. 20, during the 2017 Little League World Series. That game will take place at Bowman Field, home of the Williamsport Crosscutters, a Phillies affiliate in the short-season Class A New York-Penn League.
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.