The New York Yankees have famously stuck with various traditions throughout their long history, including this one: They are the only team among the major North American pro sports leagues whose players have never worn their names on their jerseys.
But that is about to change.
MLB? announced?Wednesday the details of Players Weekend, which will take place on Aug. 25 through 27. The promotion will include new uniforms, with most players — including those on the Yankees — wearing nicknames instead of their last names.
The Players Weekend program has several unusual uniform-related components. Here’s a detailed look, going one element at a time:
1. New jerseys and caps. All 30 MLB teams will wear bright-colored jerseys with contrasting sleeves. The jerseys will be pullovers, not button-fronts. There will also be a new set of bright-colored caps, many of which feature either slight modifications to the teams’ familiar cap logos or, in some cases, new logos that have never appeared on a cap before. The Phillies’ cap, for example, features a blue Liberty Bell.
2. The nicknames. Players have been encouraged but not required to wear nicknames rather than their surnames. It’s not yet clear how many will play along, but several teams have already posted tweets indicating that most of their rosters are on board.
And yes, the Yankees will be participating. Rookie slugger Aaron Judge, for example, will wear “All Rise” on his jersey:
Additional nicknames being planned for Yankees players can be seen here.
This won’t be the first time MLB players have worn nicknames. A’s owner Charles Finley encouraged his players to do it back in the 1960s and ’70s, most of the Braves did it in 1976?and there have been other examples scattered thoughout MLB history. In fact, although Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard will wear “Thor” on his back for Players Weekend, former Twins pitcher Paul Thormodsgard already wore that nearly four decades ago.
Nicknames have also popped up in other leagues, most notably for select NBA games during the 2013-14 season. But Players Weekend appears to be the first time that nicknames will be used by a major sport on a league-wide basis.
3. The MLB logo. Players Weekend is scheduled to coincide with the culmination of the Little League World Series, so the jerseys and caps will feature a new logo that shows a player’s evolution from youth to adulthood. The design draws inspiration from the Little League and MLB logos.
4. The sleeve…