Ranking The Player’s Weekend MLB Jersey Nicknames

Baseball has a grand history of amazing nicknames. The Babe, Goose, Baby Bull, Crime Dog. I could go on for a long long time, but you get it. For whatever reason — chalk it up to an abundance of other sports and entertainment options or free agency lessening the bond between player and fandom — great monikers aren’t as common now.

Aware of this sad fact and eager to inject a little bit of fun into the game (as well as sell some jerseys and donate a lot of money to amateur baseball), Major League Baseball has declared the weekend of August 25th to be Player’s Weekend, meaning all players will don special jerseys with the chance to wear a nickname on the back, similar to what the NBA has done in the past. And most baseball players have elected to do it with some hilarious and interesting results. Here are our picks for 17 standouts.

Seth Smith

Several players opted to tamp down their creativity by just going with their last names but for Orioles outfielder Seth Smith, owner of the most basic of names, there is a spot on this list. Couldn’t go with a simple “Smitty”?

Xavier Cedeno

There is virtue in minimalism and Rays LOOGY Xavier Cedeno is embracing that.

Chase Utley

Never too early to get dad a Christmas gift.

Tommy Hunter

I love this middle reliever and his curvy body.

Craig Kimbrell

Every Craig in every bar in all of New England is going to be wearing this jersey for the next five years. Fair warning.

Clint Frazier

The Yankees may take his hair and then his number, but they will never take his flare. You go, Red Thunder!

Manny Machado

Giancarlo Stanton might disagree with the moniker, but you gotta show some love to Manny Machado repping his hometown.

Adam Liberatore

Could have gone with “The Liberator” or “Libby,” but no. There’s a sort of whimsical yet passive aggressive genius revealed by Dodgers pitcher Adam Liberatore’s decision to just remove the “A” from the middle of his name for his nickname.

Andrew Miller

Indians shut down reliever Andrew Miller knows what’s up. #Branding

Ross Stripling

This feels like a legit nickname and not something dreamed up for these jerseys. Maybe something from youth with some pain attached to it. Like, kids would taunt him and he swore off chicken strips because of it. Or maybe Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling just digs on chicken strips. How they taste. How open they are to different kinds of dipping sauces. Etc.

AJ Griffin

I have no idea what this means but I love, with my whole heart, that it will be on the back of a Major League Baseball player’s jersey.

Bronson Arroyo

Nothing wrong with bringing a little sexiness to the ballpark.

Curtis Granderson

A little love for the John Sterling nickname generator with this one. Robby Cano’s “Don’t You Know” gets honorable mention as well.

Hyun-Jin Ryu

No words. This is just the coolest nickname on the block.

Kyle Seager

Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager is a one-time All Star and a really good baseball player in his own right, but his brother Corey is the reigning NL Rookie Of The Year and one of the game’s bright young stars. Clearly, Kyle wanted to have a little fun with his silver medal finish when it came time to pick a nickname. It’s a shame that Corey didn’t feel the same way, though his decision to just go with “Seager” on the back of his jersey may be a stone cold acknowledgment that he really is Seager-prime. I just wish Corey had made that crystal clear by putting “Seager-prime” on the back of his jersey.

Madison Bumgarner

Baseball’s best nickname (don’t worry, there’s a Thor Mets jersey too) now emblazoned on your back. If this one isn’t the best seller of the bunch it’ll be a sad surprise.

Bryce Harper

It isn’t the most creative choice or the coolest, but it nails the spirit of what the Player’s Weekend is about (linking baseball to the little league spirit and the embrace of fun). It also stands as a reminder that Harper has become an unofficial ambassador for letting loose and being a character in a game that, far too often, pays heed to its cranky and crusty critics. So, while Kyle Seager’s nickname is the cleverest, Bryce Harper wins for the sake of symbolism.