Beginning on Friday and lasting through Sunday, Major League Baseball will celebrate this year's edition of Players' Weekend -- or, the three days when players are allowed to showcase their personalities by wearing almost anything they want, including nicknames on their jerseys. To help prepare you for this weekend, we've decided to put together a handy guide that should answer most of your questions.
1. When did Players' Weekend come about, and why?
Believe it or not, this is the third Players' Weekend.
The event started in 2017 as a joint venture between MLB and the union as a way for players to express themselves in ways they usually cannot. Remember, MLB has been -- at times, anyway -- too stuffy about uniform rules. The Players' Weekend setup allows players to wear those cool cleats, or that nifty arm sleeve, without worrying about being fined for it later.
Essentially, it's part of MLB's attempt to make the players more relatable. Given the league's struggle to promote its younger talent on a national stage, it would seem to be a good idea.
2. Which games are included?
Every game played from Friday, Aug. 23 through Sunday, Aug. 25. That means the Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs will officially kick off Players' Weekend when they meet on Friday afternoon, and that the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers will bring the event to a close on Sunday as part of ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball telecast.
3. Will teams be wearing special uniforms?
Obviously. MLB never misses an opportunity to have teams wear different uniforms. This year's theme is monochrome, as the clubs will be wearing either all white or all black.
Here's a look at what we're talking about:
The thinking behind these uniforms is that they'll allow players' accessories to stand out more than if the teams were wearing their regular uniforms. Of course, it might be disorientating to see every game featuring the same basic uniform designs, but it's three days, we'll survive.
4. Who has the best nickname, and where can I find them all?
Our Pete Blackburn ranked the best nicknames of Players' Weekend 2019 earlier in the month. We're not going to reprint the entire list here, but "Brown Eye" for Max Scherzer and "Not Justin" for Shane Bieber are quality picks. Oh, and we'd be remiss if we didn't mention Hunter Pence, whose nameplate will feature a shrug. Yes, Pence will wear literally this on his back: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
You can find a complete list of nicknames for Players' Weekend by clicking here.
5. Are there any other perks to Players' Weekend?
Sure. Players will be allowed to use their phones on the field up until the national anthem, and will be permitted to wear t-shirts displaying a charity of their choice during pregame and postgame activities.
"We just want to express our love for him."— Anthony Castrovince (@castrovince) August 21, 2019
While all @MLB_PLAYERS have the option of wearing a patch in honor of Tyler Skaggs on their uniforms during @MLB #PlayersWeekend, some will have nickname tributes to the late @Angels pitcher. Story here: https://t.co/KsnsL8EdAx
On a somber note, all players will also have the option of wearing a patch in tribute to pitcher Tyler Skaggs, who was found dead in his hotel room earlier this year. Some players even chose "nicknames" that serve as messages to honor Skaggs throughout Players' Weekend.