Major League Baseball has shown a willingness to break from traditional uniforms in the name of a good cause. Annual Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Independence Day, among other holidays, are used to incorporate special jerseys and caps.
While the league’s commitment to raising awareness and money for charities can’t be questioned, their level of success in marketing the sport’s biggest stars is often criticized. It pales in comparison to that of the NBA and NFL.
Seemingly in effort to address a lack of players’ individual identity, MLB and the Players Association agreed on a weekend where jerseys will feature nicknames, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports:
Major League Baseball will relax its uniform rules for a weekend later 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 a memo obtained by Yahoo Sports. The event, called Players Weekend, is planned for Aug. 25-27 and was negotiated between the league and MLB Players Association.
From the Los Angeles Dodgers’ standpoint, Cody Bellinger, Kiké Hernandez, Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig and Justin Turner figure to be most likely to take advantage of the weekend.
Any player participating in the entertaining idea will need to get their nickname approved by MLB before the slate of games. The players have always actively sought out the opportunity to influence the apparel on their respective teams, as a creative way to combine sports and fashion.
MLB did put in place some restrictions for the weekend, such as banning all-white colored apparel (i.e. batting gloves and sleeves) so as not to interfere with an umpire’s judgment. Spikes, batting gloves and other equipment will be monitored carefully, so that they confine to MLB’s policy.
The league will also capitalize on this opportunity, selling the customized jerseys throughout the weekend. All proceeds from the jersey sales will go towards the Youth Development Foundation, which the MLB and the MLBPA have been heavily involved with.