Rays Looking Forward to MLB’s Players Weekend

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JUNE 10: Evan Longoria
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JUNE 10: Evan Longoria /

During the weekend of August 25-27, the Tampa Bay Rays along with all of MLB will be involved in the Players Weekend a new inaugural event from MLB and the MLBPLA.

“I think it’s a cool thing to let the fans know some of the nicknames we go by in the clubhouse, and who means a lot to us, the patches,” Corey Dickerson said of the jersey that will be worn during the upcoming Players Weekend event, Aug. 25-27.

Since the Rays will be in St. Louis during the Players Weekend, they will be wearing uniforms similar in color to their “Throwback” style worn during their own special event days such as “Turn Back the Clock.” Here are the Rays “Players Weekend” uniforms at MLBShop.com.

For many years, MLB has had special event days and most recently special event weekends in which all of baseball would wear uniforms that had been designed for the event. Proceeds from the licensed uniform royalties as well as the game-worn jersey auction bidding would go to the many charitable organizations such as Stand Up to Cancer for both Mother’s and Father’s Day, Mother’s Day (Susan G. Komen) or Father’s Day (Prostate Cancer Foundation), Memorial Day and Independence Day (MLB Charities).

The Players Weekend though is an event with just the players in mind as it is their time to have fun with an event, allowing them to show off their personality like never before but more importantly, it is for the players to give thanks to all those that helped them along the way in becoming who they are today.

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“The journey from youth leagues to Major League Baseball is one that players don’t take alone,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said. “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.”

"“It’s America’s Pastime, and it’s steeped in a lot of history,” said Ray’s third baseman Evan Longoria. “I think a lot of the gear and the dress code was founded around that belief, and we were really behind the weekend in terms of guys expressing themselves on the field with what they wear.”"

With youth leagues being the foundation and inspiration of the event, comes the creation of specially designed uniforms, hats, batting practice shirts, spikes, socks etc… incorporating many colors and styles never before worn, including the players nickname on the back of the jersey instead of their last name.

MLB is also allowing the players to show off their personality by wearing their own custom designed spikes, batting gloves and even bats no matter what color they are. In addition, during pregame workouts, batting practice and in post game interviews the players can wear t-shirts if they choose to do so that represent a charity or cause of their liking.

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What looks to be one of the most entertaining part of this three-day event will be the jersey portion of the uniform. In addition to their nicknames, there will be a blank patch sewn on the sleeve that allows the player to write the name(s) of person, teammate, coach, family member or organization that was important his development.

“There’s people who contribute to our lives, us getting here. I think it’s cool. It lets the fans see another side of the players. Also a little freedom picking what we want on the back of our jerseys,” Corey Dickerson said.

Be prepared for the intros to some of the Rays best or let’s not and say they were player or family motivated nicknames… such as Tommy Two Towel, Dreezy, La Pantera, LoMo, Buffalo and Special T and The Horse just to name a few. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times has provided the list of the Rays nicknames that will be on their jersey during Players Weekend.

Evan Longoria will have his nickname of “Longo” sewn on the back of his jersey and on the sleeve, he will have a reference to his father and mother for everything they have done to help him.

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“I don’t think that we’ll see much, much different,” Evan Longoria said. “I’m sure there will be guys who go above and beyond. But I think baseball as a whole has definitely got a lot better at letting guys express themselves through the course of the year.”