In an attempt to attract younger fans and to loosen the strict uniform rules, MLB will allow players to wear their nicknames on the back of their jerseys and to wear bright colored cleats and personalize a patch paying tribute to someone instrumental in their development.
But don’t be overly excited. This will only be for a weekend according to a memo by MLB. The event will be called players weekend and will be held during the weekend of August 25-27 and was negotiated between the league and MLB Players Association.
For quite some time, players are expressing their wishes to have their personal style on the field, mostly in wearing bright colored or fluorescent colored shoes. But the strict rules by MLB has prohibited this so far.
Players will have the option to wear a jersey with a nickname – though they are limited to just one, according to the memo, and “inappropriate or offensive” nicknames will be banned.
The items with minimal color restrictions include spikes, batting gloves, wristbands, compression sleeves and catcher’s masks. The colors, according to the memo, must avoid interfering with the game and an umpire’s ability to make a call. White gloves, wristbands and sleeves are prohibited.
Each jersey will feature a patch with space for a player to personalize it by “writing the name of an individual or organization that was responsible for his development,” according to the memo.
The jerseys will be auctioned for charity; the Youth Development Foundation, an initiative on which the league and MLBPA work together.
Personally, I think it is about time, MLB is making this step. In soccer, players are allowed to have their nickname on the back of their jersey for a longer period. It is common for players from Brazil especially to wear their nickname.