ATLANTA -- Tommy Joseph had the opportunity to design a pair of spikes for the inaugural Players Weekend at the end of the month, so he turned to his friends for help."My buddies in my group-text submitted a few designs," Joseph said Tuesday at SunTrust Park. "Whichever one I thought
ATLANTA -- Tommy Joseph had the opportunity to design a pair of spikes for the inaugural Players Weekend at the end of the month, so he turned to his friends for help.
"My buddies in my group-text submitted a few designs," Joseph said Tuesday at SunTrust Park. "Whichever one I thought was the coolest was going to win. The only request I had is that I'm wearing gold shoelaces for pediatric cancer research."
• Players Weekend gear available at MLBShop.com
Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association are introducing Players Weekend Aug. 25-27, when players will wear non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs and a patch on the sleeve where every player marks the name of a person or persons they think helped advance their careers. Players also will have the opportunity to place a nickname on the back of the jersey, as well as use unique caps, spikes, batting gloves, wristbands, bats and more.
During pregame workouts and postgame interviews, players will wear T-shirts highlighting a charity or cause of their choice. The game-worn jerseys will be auctioned at MLB.com/auctions with 100 percent of net proceeds donated to the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation, which is focused on "improving the caliber, effectiveness and availability of amateur baseball and softball programs across the U.S. and Canada."
Joseph is putting "ToJo" on the back of his jersey. Vince Velasquez has "Vincente." Adam Morgan is using "A-Mo."
"The jerseys are more for the fans," Morgan said. "It's cool, though. The biggest thing is the patch on the sleeve. I'm thanking my family. That's the most important thing for me. It's not the jersey itself. It's the opportunity to thank them on the field."
Velasquez said he is thanking his Mom and Dad and Pomona American for the park in California, where he learned to play baseball. Joseph picked his father John Joseph.
"He's the man," Joseph said.
Joseph said his buddy Brandon Snyder from back home in Arizona won the shoe design contest. Joseph plans on signing them and sending them to Snyder after the weekend.
"It's definitely something neat that Major League Baseball is allowing us to do," Joseph said. "The uniforms are going to be pretty unique in that we've never worn anything like that. It's cool that we're being allowed to do anything we want with the bats and cleats and stuff. We're able to show personal style and personal interests."
Here's a list of nicknames that some Phillies are expected to sport on the back of their jerseys on Players Weekend:
• Maikel Franco: "COMPA F"
• Hector Neris: "COMPA H"
• Odubel Herrera: "TORITO"
• Cesar Hernandez: "CESITA"
• Freddy Galvis: "TOCO"
• Andres Blanco: "WHITEY"
• Tommy Joseph: "TOJO"
• Vince Velasquez: "VINCENTE"
• Jerad Eickhoff: "EICK"
• Nick Williams: "NICKY DUBS"
Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.