Choo to use Korean name on Players' Weekend

All-Star excited to rep home country; Rangers gear up to face Pudge's son on Friday; Gallo starts in center

August 22nd, 2018

OAKLAND -- Players' Weekend will be especially profound for Rangers outfielder .

Choo will not have a unique nickname on the back of his jersey. Instead, he will have his real name, but it will be written in Korean instead of English.

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"I don't remember the last time that happened," Choo said. "Maybe it was on my middle school team. When I was in high school, I think we just had our numbers. When I was on the junior national team, our names were in English. Definitely not in the last 18 years, since I have been living in the United States."

The Rangers will be in San Francisco for Players' Weekend, opening a three-game series with the Giants on Friday night at AT&T Park.

"It has been a long time since my name was in Korean on my uniform," Choo said. "To have that happen is very special."

Shop for Players' Weekend gear | All 2018 nicknames

Choo's name will also be announced differently. In South Korea, the proper way would be Choo, Shin-Soo. Choo said that too will be special for him.

"I thought about it last year, but Joey Votto wanted to do something different," Choo said. "I don't know how long Major League Baseball is going to do Players' Weekend, but this is special."

This is the second straight year for Players' Weekend. Last year, Choo had Tokki 1 on his jersey. It was the idea of former Reds teammate Votto, who had Tokki 2 on his jersey. "Tokki" means "rabbit" in Korean and that was Votto's nickname for Choo. He wanted to pay tribute to his friend.

Rodriguez to face Rangers

Rangers manager Jeff Banister said he won't press Ivan Rodriguez for a scouting report on the Giants' starting pitcher on Friday. Rodriguez still works for the Rangers as a special assistant, but that's not the reason why he will be at AT&T Park on Friday night.

His son, , will be pitching against the Rangers.

"It will be a fun game for everybody involved," Banister said. "What a special opportunity for a Hall of Famer and a guy who has meant so much to the Rangers' organization to be a part of a game like this. It is kind of a unique situation."

Rodriguez, a rookie, is 6-1 with a 2.25 ERA in 12 starts and two relief appearances. He is on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring but is expected to be activated on Friday.

"I think he is doing great," the elder Rodriguez said recently. "He is pitching great, throwing the ball good. He's a giant surprise, to be honest with you, the way he has been pitching and the way he takes every start, the way he looks every start. Looks like every time he pitches, more and more he looks better. He's feeling better and doing great."

Rangers beat

• The Rangers had gone nine straight games without an error before third baseman 's throwing error on Tuesday night.

• The Giants have announced that former Ranger will pitch on Sunday.

• Joey Gallo started in center field for the second time this season on Wednesday. With limited to designated hitter duty, it was the only way for Banister to get Gallo, Choo and in the lineup.