In a rare twist, the heads of Major League Baseball are actually doing something fun. On the weekend of August 25-27, “Players Weekend” will be a way for players to be able to express a bit of individuality by being allowed to put nicknames on backs of jerseys, wear bright fluorescent shoes and be able to wear a patch of someone important to their development.
Now, this wasn’t something that was a spur of the moment. Like anything having to do with individuality, this was apparently negotiated among the higher ups at Major League Baseball and the Players Union. But regardless of how this came about, it’s at least a great idea for players to show some personality and have a bit of fun during an August weekend.
Obviously, things need to be approved beforehand by MLB. Players cannot have nicknames that contain “inappropriate or offensive” names. So there’s no risk of a nickname like “Teabagger” slipping through the cracks like what almost happened in the XFL, according to the 30 for 30 documentary.
The different colors of the equipment must also be approved to avoid conflicts among opposing teams as well as so they don’t cause the umpires to make bad calls.
But there is also a charitable aspect to this. The jerseys that the players wear that weekend will be auctioned off and the money will go to MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation so this seems like a win-win-win for the players, for the league and the fans who want to see this. And it kind of takes the wind out of the sails of people who won’t like this. At least the money is going toward the kids.