According to a report from Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports, Major League Baseball will change its uniform policies for one weekend only later this year. An MLB memo announced that from August 25-27, “Players Weekend,” everyone will be allowed to get a little creative:
Players will have the option to wear a jersey with a nickname – though they are limited to just one, according to the memo, and “inappropriate or offensive” nicknames will be banned.
The items with minimal color restrictions include spikes, batting gloves, wristbands, compression sleeves and catcher’s masks. The colors, according to the memo, must avoid interfering with the game and an umpire’s ability to make a call. White gloves, wristbands and sleeves are prohibited.
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,” according to the memo.
The jerseys will be auctioned off after the weekend, with proceeds going to a joint MLBPA/MLB charity. Passan writes the players association and MLB negotiated the agreement.
It all makes sense. Teams sell jerseys and shirtseys with players’ nicknames on them, why not let the players do the same for once? If you’re going to make players honor the troops with camo hats multiple times a year, why not let them put nicknames on their jerseys?
I also appreciate MLB taking a page of the one cool rule the XFL actually had. Someone really ought to put “He Hate Me” on the back of his jersey as a tribute to Rod Smart.
I wonder, though, if this is the start of Major League Baseball becoming like the minor leagues. Teams in the minors frequently wear jerseys inspired by things like their parent club or Star Wars or Bruce Springsteen or Saved by the Bell or ugly Christmas sweaters or service dogs. Will we one day see the Cubs wearing Smokey Bear-themed jerseys, or maybe the Phillies sponsored by blunts?
Yes, those would be stunts to increase attendance. But who cares? I want to see baseball teams in ridiculous uniforms. This is just the beginning.