Major Leaguers will let their personalities and passions shine during Players Weekend, a newly created event taking place during all MLB games scheduled between August 25th-27th, it was announced today by Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association.
Players Weekend is a player-focused event that will include the players wearing colorful, non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs inspired by youth league uniforms. Players will have the opportunity to have a nickname placed on the back of the jerseys made by Majestic Athletic, as well as to wear and use uniquely colored and designed spikes, batting gloves, wristbands, compression sleeves, catcher’s masks, and bats.
During Players Weekend, the players will also be wearing specially designed caps by New Era, and socks from Stance. In addition, players will have the option of wearing t-shirts highlighting a charity or cause of their choice during pregame workouts and postgame interviews.
Several Major Leaguers will serve as Players Weekend Ambassadors by taking an active role in promoting the event, including: Yonder Alonso (Seattle Mariners), Javier Báez (Chicago Cubs), José Bautista (Toronto Blue Jays), Nelson Cruz (Seattle Mariners), Ender Inciarte (Atlanta Braves), Francisco Lindor (Cleveland Indians), Manny Machado (Baltimore Orioles), Anthony Rizzo (Chicago Cubs), CC Sabathia (New York Yankees), Christian Yelich (Miami Marlins) and Chris B. Young (Boston Red Sox). The players will support the event by posting to social media using #PlayersWeekend.
Additionally, during Players Weekend, the right sleeve of each player’s jersey will feature a patch with a blank space for him to write the name of a person or organization that was instrumental to his development. The patch features a new logo that shows a progression of five players increasing in size to demonstrate the process of a player’s path from Little League and youth leagues to Major League Baseball. The new “Evolution” logo, which symbolizes solidarity with local youth baseball and softball organizations, will also appear on the back of each Club’s cap and jerseys in place of the MLB silhouetted batter.
“The journey from youth leagues to Major League Baseball is one that players don’t take alone,” said Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. “Major League players have been supported by family members, coaches, and organizations that helped them develop their unique skills and overcome challenges to reach the highest level of the sport. These games will allow the players to thank those who were important in their lives while showcasing their personality in a fun way that fits baseball’s community-driven focus.”
“Players are increasingly interested in finding unique ways to connect with their fans by allowing them to see more of their personalities and interests,” stated MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark. “The collective desire to express their diverse interests and backgrounds is what motivated Players to advocate for the creation of Players Weekend. This will be an exciting and unique opportunity for the Players to literally wear their passions on their sleeves, and equipment, too, as they embrace this chance to let their true identities shine.”
Game-worn, Players Weekend jerseys will be auctioned at MLB.com/auctions with 100% of net proceeds donated to the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation, a joint effort established in July 2015 by MLB and the MLBPA with an initial commitment of $30 million focused on improving the caliber, effectiveness and availability of amateur baseball and softball programs across the United States and Canada.
The special features of the Players Weekend games will also be adopted by the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals during the MLB Little League Classic to be played in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, on Sunday, August 20th during the 2017 Little League World Series. The game, which will celebrate youth baseball, will be played in front of a crowd of primarily Little League players and their families at a renovated, historic Bowman Field. Earlier in the day, Major League players will attend Little League World Series games and cheer on these youngsters as a demonstration of the players’ passion and commitment to helping grow the game at the youth level. The MLB Little League Classic will air nationally on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” and ESPN Radio at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.