For the second consecutive year, Major Leaguers will put their personalities and passions on the field when Players' Weekend takes center stage during all games from Friday, Aug. 24, through Sunday, Aug. 26.Here are the nicknames the Rangers will wear on their backs while sporting colorful, non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate
For the second consecutive year, Major Leaguers will put their personalities and passions on the field when Players' Weekend takes center stage during all games from Friday, Aug. 24, through Sunday, Aug. 26.
Here are the nicknames the Rangers will wear on their backs while sporting colorful, non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs inspired by youth-league uniforms:
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Elvis Andrus: "MERULO JR"
-- "A long time ago in Venezuela, my friends who knew me, that's what they called me. If I am not mistaken, it was an old cartoon of three brothers who were all together. So that's what they called me and my brothers. I was the youngest, so I was Merulo Junior."
Tony Barnette: "BARNITEZ"
-- "Just joking around with some of the guys on the team. The #ponleacento shirts we wear every year is what I think set it in motion." MLB has an annual #ponleacento campaign to celebrate Hispanic Heritage.
Adrian Beltre: "EL KOJA"
-- When Beltre was growing up in the Dominican Republic, an uncle gave him the nickname of Kojak. That was the name of the bald-headed television detective played by Telly Savalas. Beltre was hair-challenged even as a child, and that's how he got the nickname.
Matt Bush: "MATTY ICE"
-- Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is called Matty Ice, although that may not be applicable here. "I have had a few people call me that, so I went with it."
Eddie Butler: "SPAGHETTI"
-- "Since I was a kid, all my friends called me Eddie Spaghetti. It stuck for a lot of years, so why not bring it out again? Plus I used to be long and lanky."
Willie Calhoun: "JUNE"
-- He is Willie Calhoun Jr. He used to be known as Junior, but he has since shortened it to June.
Robinson Chirinos: "PELO BUCHE"
-- It means "spiked hair," how Chirinos wore his hair when he was young.
Shin-Soo Choo: "추신수"
-- "The last time I wore a uniform with my Korean name was when I was in high school and 18 years old. I want to feel that moment in a big league uniform. That is huge for me. A Major League uniform, my Korean name and on a Major League field. That is a big deal for me."
Alex Claudio: "AC"
-- "My initials, that's it."
Bartolo Colon: "MORALES"
-- "It's not a nickname. ... It's in honor of my mother, Adriana Morales."
Delino DeShields: "LIL BOP"
-- He is the son of former Major League second baseman Delino DeShields. His father was known as Bop when he was a player. Father and son are very close, so this is another way to honor his dad.
Yovani Gallardo: "YO"
-- "That is the only nickname that I have, ever since I was in high school or even before high school. My first name is difficult to pronounce, so they just call me Yo. I wish I had something better. It started when I was 12 years old."
Joey Gallo: "PICO DE GALLO"
-- Yes, he is named after the sauce. "That's what all the Latin guys call me."
Cory Gearrin: "CEEGEE"
-- "That's what everybody calls me. Nothing crazy going on."
Ronald Guzman: "CEPEDA"
-- It is my [maternal] grandfather's name. When I was at Hickory, he always asked me why I wore Guzman instead of Cepeda. When I was young, I was always at his house breaking all the lights. He always wanted to see that [name] on my jersey."
Andrew Hutchison: "HUTCH"
-- "That's all I got. Nobody calls me Drew. It's just Hutch."
Isiah Kiner-Falefa: "IZZY"
-- This one is obvious. He was called Iz growing up in Hawaii, but he has one he wants to use in the future. "Hawaiian Hustle. I like that. But it was too soon to use it. But I am going to use it in the future."
Ariel Jurado: "BARTOLITO"
-- Jurado reminds people of a young Colon.
Jose Leclerc: "PICO"
-- "When I was younger, they called me Pico. They still call me that. One guy from my hometown [Esperanza, Dominican Republic] was Pico. They said I looked like him, so they called me Pico."
Chris Martin: "C-MART"
-- "I had it since high school. I do know that if I'm at the ballgame and I hear C-Mart, it is a friend from high school. In professional ball, it has always been Marty."
Nomar Mazara: "BIG CHILL"
-- "Big Chill" was Mazara's nickname in the Minor Leagues because of his calm demeanor. But Mazara said he got that from his father. "My father is a really cool and calm guy. He is the original big chill."
Mike Minor: "SPYKEZYLLA"
-- "It's just a nickname I had in college. David Price gave it to me. They used to call me 'Mike the Spike.'"
Matt Moore: "MATT MAN"
-- "It's just a name my parents had for me when I was young. Family and friends called me that from the age of 5 ... I guess instead of Batman. I figured it would make a nice gift for them."
Rougned Odor: "EL TIPO"
-- "My friends have always called me El Tipo." It means "The Guy."
Martin Perez: "EL DE LAS MATAS"
-- Perez's biography lists his hometown as Guanare, Venezuela, but it is not. Las Matas, a small town nearby, is where he is really from. "I always like to say where I grew up and where I am from. I'm happy to tell people where I am from."
Jurickson Profar: "EL PATRON"
-- "A couple of teammates I played with early in my career -- Spokane -- gave me that. When I signed, I had more money than everybody else all together. Alejandro Selen and Francisco Mendoza called me El Patron [which translates to 'The Boss'] because I was always taking them out to dinner."
Drew Robinson: "PETEY"
-- "It's a secret. I have never told the media."
Ryan Rua: "RYNO"
-- Rua got his start playing competitive baseball in a travel league while growing up in Amherst, Ohio. He said the team's coach implored each player to find a nickname, so "Ryno," a common nickname for people named Ryan, was an easy choice.
Carlos Tocci: "EL MUSIU"
-- This one is a bit delicate. In Venezuela, 'musiu' is a term for foreigners. Tocci is from Venezuela, but he has a lighter complexion than the average native of that country, so he picked up that nickname in winter ball one year.
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.