ARLINGTON -- Rangers pitcher A.J. Griffin used to listen to "The Jim Rome Show" a lot, and one of the terms Rome used was "lettuce.""That's their word for hair," Griffin said.Griffin does have hair. Lots of it. He does his pitching with his blond lettuce flowing over his shoulders, one
ARLINGTON -- Rangers pitcher A.J. Griffin used to listen to "The Jim Rome Show" a lot, and one of the terms Rome used was "lettuce."
"That's their word for hair," Griffin said.
Griffin does have hair. Lots of it. He does his pitching with his blond lettuce flowing over his shoulders, one of the more unique styles on the Rangers club.
• Players Weekend gear available at MLBShop.com
That's how he came up with the nickname "Sweet Lettuce" that he will be using during the Players Weekend from Friday to Sunday. Players will have the opportunity to have a nickname placed on the back of the jerseys made by Majestic Athletic, as well as to wear and use uniquely colored and designed spikes, batting gloves, wristbands, compression sleeves, catcher's masks and bats.
"I'm pretty stoked about my nickname," Griffin said. "I'm pleased it's a good one. I trust in my ability to come up with good little nicknames for myself, as vain as that sounds."
Players will also 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.
"I didn't know anything about it," Griffin said. "They just said pick a nickname. So, I picked one. I think it's a good way for the fans to get to know our personalities a little bit better. I think kids will gravitate to it a lot more.
"Just have it being goofy, fun stuff, but still good baseball at the same. It's a game. It's a sport that's supposed to be fun. I think it's going to be good for the game, actually. I like little things like this. It keeps it interesting."
• Players Weekend: Nicknames of the game
Griffin said his first choice was "Lebowski" from the famous movie, "The Big Lebowski." That didn't work.
"My first attempt was negated," Griffin said. "They wouldn't let me have that. Probably too good of a nickname."
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 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.
"I think I wrote a paragraph," Griffin said. "I really didn't know what we were supposed to do. I think I wrote my mom and my dad and all the coaches that helped me along the way. It was like a serious paragraph."
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 United States 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.
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.