MLB Players' Weekend Returning After Successful Debut In '17
MLB for the second straight year will hold Players' Weekend on Aug. 24-26, bringing back the promotion that is "designed by MLB to allow players to let their personalities take center stage," according to Pete Blackburn of CBSSPORTS.com. Players can "choose to have nicknames on the back of colorful alternate uniforms that are inspired by little league baseball." Those uniforms are "paired with hats that typically use bold, bright colors and often have alternate logos featured on the front." The weekend was "largely a hit in its debut last year" (CBSSPORTS.com, 8/9). FORBES' Maury Brown noted the inaugural Players' Weekend was a "hit with fans." This year, not only will players have the "unique apparel, several players will be deemed 'Players' Weekend ambassadors' and will be taking to social media using the hashtag #PlayersWeekend." In a time where "marketing the players has seen particular focus with the media and fans," it is "refreshing to see the league doing a small something league-wide to market the game" (FORBES.com, 8/9). In Pittsburgh, Sean Gentille wrote Players' Weekend is an "easy thing to be cynical about" as nicknames on the back of youth baseball-inspired jerseys "seems more like an excuse to sell merchandise than anything else." But some of the nicknames are "legitimately funny" (POST-GAZETTE.com, 8/9).
WOULD YOU LIKE FRIES WITH THAT? D-backs P Brad Boxberger's Players' Weekend jersey is "going to be tough to beat," as he "will wear a uniform with a picture of a box and a burger where his name would normally be." Last season, Boxberger tweeted that "he'd like to have the emojis on his uniform" in '18. His jersey is "bound to be popular" among D-backs and MLB fans alike (AZCENTRAL.com, 8/9). CBSSPORTS.com's Blackburn wrote Boxberger has "won Players' Weekend simply because he managed to get emojis on a MLB jersey" (CBSSPORTS.com, 8/9).
BEST OF THE REST: Some early Players' Weekend jersey "favorites" are Indians P Shane Bieber ("Not Justin"), Giants RF Hunter Pence ("Underpants"), and Rangers LF Joey Gallo ("Pico De Gallo") (DETROIT NEWS, 8/10). In Cincinnati, Kyle Brown notes Reds 1B Joey Votto "will have 'In Flanders Fields' on his jersey" for Players' Weekend, which is a reference to poem written during World War I by Canadian John McCrae (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 8/10). In Philadelphia, Matt Breen notes Phillies 1B Rhys Hoskins will be “Big Fella” and P Tommy Hunter “Bigger Fella” during Players' Weekend (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 8/10). THE ATHLETIC's Andrew Baggarly noted Giants LF Austin Slater "wanted 'A.C.' as his Players Weekend jersey nickname." That was his "name last year; MLB made him get copyright permission from NBC." Then he "missed the weekend while on DL." He "found out recently the permission does not auto-renew." He will now wear “Mayor” on his jersey (TWITTER.com, 8/9).