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Cano goes way back for Players Weekend

MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

SEATTLE -- When Robinson Cano needed to come up with a nickname to wear on the back of his Mariners jersey for the inaugural Players Weekend celebration at the end of August, he dug into his Yankees past.

And don't you know, by nice coincidence the Mariners will be at Yankee Stadium for the Aug. 25-27 weekend, when all Major League players will be allowed to personalize their uniform in unique ways to show fans a little more of their personal side.

SEATTLE -- When Robinson Cano needed to come up with a nickname to wear on the back of his Mariners jersey for the inaugural Players Weekend celebration at the end of August, he dug into his Yankees past.

And don't you know, by nice coincidence the Mariners will be at Yankee Stadium for the Aug. 25-27 weekend, when all Major League players will be allowed to personalize their uniform in unique ways to show fans a little more of their personal side.

While Nelson Cruz will wear "Boomstick" on his back, Felix Hernandez will feature his familiar "King Felix" and Kyle Seager has drawn much attention for his choice of "Corey's Brother," Cano's jersey will say "Don't You Know," the moniker hung on him by legendary Yankees radio play-by-play man John Sterling back when he first game up with the Bombers in 2005.

Players Weekend gear available at MLBShop.com

For Cano, the choice was pretty simple.

"It's the only nickname I really have," the eight-time All-Star said. "That's the one I got when I first came up. Otherwise everybody just calls me Robbie. So I decided to go with that one. I like it."

Sterling has broadcast every Yankees game since 1989, and he is famous for his game-ending "The Yankees win. Thuuuuuuhhhh Yankees win!" on good days in the Bronx. He also coins a unique home run call for every player. Among his favorites are the "That's an A-bomb for A-Rod" and the Cano catchphrase.

What you need to know for Players Weekend

And, yeah, Sterling gets a kick out of Cano using his words in the upcoming MLB promotion.

"Anytime you do anything on the air and then you hear it come back, you know you've done your job," Sterling said. "So I like it very much. Like if people yell 'A-bomb' to me and all that jazz. One day I just said, 'Robbie Cano, don't you know!' And I'm glad he likes it so much. It's a very nice gesture."

Players Weekend: Nicknames of the game

The jersey nicknames are only part of the Players Weekend options. Players will also be able to use uniquely colored and designed spikes, batting gloves, wristbands, compression sleeves, catcherís masks and bats.

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.

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 they are grateful to for helping them advance their careers, such as family or a coach.

The game-worn Players Weekend jerseys will then 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 2015 by MLB and the MLBPA, with an initial commitment of $30 million focused on improving 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, 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 Class A Short-Season New York-Penn League.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners, Robinson Cano