KC already buzzing over Players Weekend

New event to take place during all games from Aug. 25-27

KC already buzzing over Players Weekend

KANSAS CITY -- Royals players already are anticipating the inaugural "Players Weekend" to be held Aug. 25-27 when all players will wear colorful, non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs.

Players Weekend gear available at MLBShop.com

And what really has Royals players buzzing is the opportunity to put nicknames instead of their surnames on the back of their jerseys made by Majestic Athletic.

For example, outfielder Melky Cabrera will use "Melk Man" as his nickname. First baseman Eric Hosmer will use "Papo," a Latin term of endearment and affection. Mike Moustakas, of course, will use "Moose."

Players Weekend is a joint collaboration between MLB and the Players' Association.

"It's great because it's just another way to connect the fans closer to the players," right-hander Jason Hammel said. "I think it's pretty cool."

Hammel will use his nickname, "Hammer."

Left fielder Alex Gordon, who will use "Gordo" as his nickname, thinks the alternative uniforms will provide a fun atmosphere.

"I like it," Gordon said. "But you know that by the time the game starts, it's back to business and we won't think about it."

Players also will wear a special patch on their sleeves showing the progression of a child evolving into a Major Leaguer. Under that logo is white space, and every player will mark a name of a person who they are grateful to for helping them advance their careers, such as a family member or a coach.

Almost every Royals player will use their mother or father, or both.

Some other fun nicknames Royals players will use:

Right-hander Peter Moylan will use "Sledge," which is Australian slang for trash talking and also part of the name of his famous "Sledge-iatto" espressos that he brews for his teammates. Left-hander Danny Duffy will use "Bear," which his parents called him as a child. It also is tied to his famous line from 2014 when he showed up for a postgame interview with Fox Sports Kansas City's Joel Goldberg in a bear suit and deadpanned, "It's a bear suit, Joel," a line that went viral on Twitter. Second baseman Whit Merrifield will use "Whit Bird," which is what his father called him as a youth. And, of course, first-base coach Rusty Kuntz will use his signature phrase, "Player!"

Players also will don uniquely colored and designed spikes, batting gloves, wristbands, compression sleeves, catcher's masks and bats.

Players will wear specially designed caps by New Era and unique socks from Stance. During pregame workouts and postgame interviews, they will wear T-shirts highlighting a charity or cause of their choice.

Game-worn, Players Weekend jerseys will be auctioned at MLB.com/auctions with 100 percent of net proceeds donated to the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation, a joint effort established in July 2015 by MLB and the MLBPA with an initial commitment of $30 million focused on improving the caliber, effectiveness and availability of amateur baseball and softball programs across the U.S. and Canada.

The uniforms will first be worn by the Pirates and Cardinals during the MLB Little League Classic to be played in Williamsport, Pa., on Aug. 20 during the 2017 Little League World Series. That game will take place at Bowman Field, home of the Williamsport Crosscutters, a Phillies affiliate in the Short-Season Class A New York-Penn League.

Here's a list of nicknames that some Royals are expected to sport on the back of their jerseys on Players Weekend:

• Alex Gordon: "GORDO"
Lorenzo Cain: "LO CAIN"
• Mike Moustakas: "MOOSE"
• Eric Hosmer: "PAPO"
Alcides Escobar: "ESKY"
Drew Butera: "THE DON"
Brandon Moss: "MOSS DOGG"
• Danny Duffy: "BEAR"
Neftali Feliz: "NEFFI"
Kelvin Herrera: "H"
• Melky Cabrera: "MELKMAN"

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.