SBD/June 15, 2017/Leagues and Governing Bodies

MLB Allowing Nicknames On Back Of Jerseys, Personalized Patches During Players Weekend

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MLB will "relax its uniform rules for a weekend" this season, allowing players to "put nicknames on the back of their jerseys, wear fluorescent-colored shoes and personalize a patch paying tribute to someone instrumental in their development," according to Jeff Passan of YAHOO SPORTS. Players Weekend is "planned for Aug. 25-27 and was negotiated" between the league and MLBPA. Players "long have sought to express their personal style on the field and capitalize on the intersection of fashion and sports in a way other leagues don't allow." The items with "minimal color restrictions include spikes, batting gloves, wristbands, compression sleeves and catcher's masks." The colors "must avoid interfering with the game and an umpire's ability to make a call." Each jersey will "feature a patch with space for a player to personalize it by 'writing the name of an individual or organization that was instrumental to his development.'" The memo sent out by MLB "did not outline rules for bats" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 6/14). CBSSPORTS.com's R.J. Anderson noted given that both the owners and players "agreed to these terms," it seems "unlikely that teams will have discretion over if and how they participate in the weekend's festivities." The NBA "tried the whole nickname-on-jerseys bit a few years back." MLB's attempt "seems to have the same end goal in mind: selling more merchandise" (CBSSPORTS.com, 6/14).
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