Ranking the best nicknames for MLB Players' Weekend

Plenty of MLB players delivered clever nicknames for Players’ Weekend. (MLB)
Plenty of MLB players delivered clever nicknames for Players’ Weekend. (MLB)

Major League Baseball confirmed Thursday that Players’ Weekend is returning for 2018 — which means another weekend of brightly colored uniforms as baseball dives head first into personality and personalization come Aug. 24-26.

You’ll see more custom cleats. Players can wear a patch on their jerseys honoring someone who inspired them — either a coach from what they were a kid or a big leaguer they looked up to. But the star of Players’ Weekend will be the same thing it was last year.

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Players can choose to wear any nickname they want on the back of their jersey. For many players, it’s a chance to prove how clever they are or share a part of themselves we don’t normally see. Not everybody gets super creative — Giancarlo Stanton is just wearing “G,” for instance. Some players just use the nicknames we already know — like Buster Posey or Mookie Betts, for instance.

Some players totally nail the nickname part of this, so with that, here are our 15 favorite NEW nicknames of Players’ Weekend 2018. After the newbies, we’re giving you five more great ones that are carryovers from last year.

1. Brad Boxberger — 🎁 🍔
Everyone else has lost the best 2018 Players’ Weekend nickname contest to Brad Boxberger, who chose two emojis for his nickname. Who knew you could even pick emojis!? This is the best nickname hands down, no one else even comes close. And it’s not even a nickname! That’s how good it is.

2. Shane Bieber — Not Justin
When your last name is Bieber, you almost have to do this, right?

3. Walker Buehler — Ferris
It’s hard to imagine just how many times Buehler has been the subject of Ferris Bueller jokes. How many times has his last name been said in that Ben Stein monotone? Hundreds? Thousands? Tens of thousands?! Who knows. At least for Players’ Weekend, he has a better chance of getting Save Ferris jokes than anything else.

4. Derek Holland — Last Name
A brilliant/unfortunate/hilarious mistake on a chyron once identified Holland as “Derek Lastname.” Seeing him play along with it is almost as delightful as the mistake itself.

5. Carl Edwards Jr. — Stringbean Slinger
There has never been a nickname that fit a player so completely. Carl Edwards Jr. is tall and slim and he’s a pitcher. Plus, it sounds like an old-school, 1920s baseball nickname. You can just imagine Vin Scully saying it with gusto.

6. Joey Votto — In Flanders Fields
Votto is from Canada, and he chose the title of a World War I poem by Canadian poet John McCrae. It’s beautiful and mournful, but also hopeful. 2018 is the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI, the Great War which brutally killed a generation of young men, and his choice of “nickname” is just as complex and thoughtful as Votto himself.

7. Jerry Blevins — JER-RY JER-RY JER-RY
A Jerry Springer reference? Yes please. Very much yes please.

8. Chris Sale — The Conductor
This is such a great nickname on the purest level. It’s the kind of nickname you can imagine him getting from a broadcaster or a former player. But it actually came from Dustin Pedroia and here’s the explanation:

9. Hunter Pence — Underpants
Pence’s nickname has been “Captain Underpants” for years. And because of him, the word “underpants” will now be on the back of an official MLB jersey. The world owes him a debt of gratitude forever.

10. David Price — Slim Dunkin
Price looks like retired NBA star Tim Duncan, he’s leaning right into it with his nickname. Bonus points for working in a tribute to Dunkin’ Donuts, which have a Starbucks-like saturation in Boston and all around New England. Clever all around.

11. Shohei Ohtani — Showtime
It’s a great nickname for Ohtani, a great play off his name and just a great nickname in general. Say it. Showtime. It just pops.

12. Jedd Gyorko — Jerk-Oh
Poor Jedd has probably heard his last name pronounced at least a thousand different ways. Thanks to his Players’ Weekend jersey, no one will ever have to wonder how to say his last name ever again. Spelling it? Well that might still remain a problem.

13. Didi Gregorious — The Knight
Last year, Didi went with the appropriate “Sir Didi” for the back of his jersey. This year it’s just “The Knight,” which is definitely an upgrade (and still fits, because he *is* an actual knight). The nickname feels like a combination of Batman and a knight of the roundtable, only baseball? It’s perfect.

14. Joey Gallo – Pico De Gallo
Like Didi The Knight, Gallo does well with an edit here. Last year, he went with “Pico,” which was good but needed a little help connecting the dots. Going with the full “Pico De Gallo” on the other hand is clearly superior — and tastier.

15. Austin Davis — Big Fudge
How did Austin Davis get this nickname? Who knows. And do we really want to know? The answer to that is: Probably not.

Just because your nickname isn’t new doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate you. Here are five winners who are holdovers from 2017:

1. Josh Phegly – PTBNL
You know, as in Player To Be Named Later. Phegly, as a back-up catcher, is your prototypical PTBNL type of guy. But it’s also just a beautiful baseball reference to add to Players’ Weekend.

2. Jarlin Garcia — Jarlin the Marlin 
Come on! It’s Jarlin the Marlin! The greatest of all first name rhymes! If your first name was “Jarlin,” wouldn’t you want this to be your nickname?

3. Charlie Morton – Ground Chuck
You see, Charlie Morton has one of the best ground-ball percentages among big-league pitchers. And Charlie and Chuck … well, we don’t need to explain this any more do we. It’s clever.

4. Travis Shaw – Mayor DDC
Shaw’s complete nickname — the Mayor of Ding Dong City — remains one of the best in baseball. It can’t all fit on the back of his jersey, but if you know, you know.

5. Chase Utley — Silver Fox
Utley and his full head of glorious silver hair will be retiring from baseball at the end of the season, so this will be his last Players’ Weekend. He chose Silver Fox in 2017, too, but it’s just as good now as it was then.

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Mike Oz is a writer at Yahoo Sports. Contact him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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