Yanks Players Weekend nicknames explained

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DETROIT -- The Yankees return to Yankee Stadium this weekend after an eight-game road trip. But they won't be getting back into their traditional pinstripe uniforms, as the first Players Weekend begins on Friday.

Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association established the event as a way to emphasize the importance of individuality in the game. All 30 MLB teams will be wearing colorful, non-traditional alternate uniforms inspired by youth league uniforms, designed by Majestic. The Yankees' jerseys are navy blue with gray sleeves, numbers and lettering.

MLB is permitting players to use uniquely colored and designed cleats, compression sleeves, wristbands, batting gloves and other equipment, including bats. New Era has designed special hats, while colorful socks are being provided by Stance.

Yankees Players Weekend gear available at MLBShop.com

Players will have the opportunity to wear nicknames on their backs, though some players have opted just to wear their last name. Players will also don tribute patches on their sleeves to thank those in their lives that helped them get to where they are. The patches feature a special modified MLB "Evolution" logo that shows the progression of a player from Little League to the Majors.

What you need to know for Players Weekend

Here is the rundown of the Yankees' nicknames and tribute patches. If a player does not have a nickname listed, he has opted to wear his last name on his jersey.

Tyler Austin
Tribute patch: "To my Mom, Dad and Brothers. Thank you" -- For all the love and support he has gotten from his family, Austin wanted to honor them on his sleeve, though he said he knows he left a lot of people off the patch worthy of his praise.

Dellin Betances: "D. Dawg"
As a Minor Leaguer, a few of Betances' teammates -- including current teammate Adam Warren -- gave him the nickname, because he would frequently refer to others as "Dawg."
Tribute patch: "To my Brothers and Pops" -- Betances grew up loving basketball, and his father and brothers drove him to get into baseball. He is thanking them for helping him make that decision.

Aroldis Chapman: "The Missile"
Consistently hitting triple digits on the radar gun will earn you a nickname like "The Cuban Missile." It is a nickname Chapman has embraced over the years, dating back to when he first reached the Majors in Cincinnati.
Tribute patch: "Dad & Mom" -- Chapman is thanking his family on his patch for all of their support.

Jacoby Ellsbury: "Chief"
Ellsbury is part Navajo, and he is honoring his heritage this weekend with a nickname a lot of his teammates have called him over the years.

Todd Frazier: "Toddfather"
The nickname came about in 2011, while Frazier was playing with Cincinnati and Reds played it up big. Frazier said he's loved it since Day 1, and he likes that it pays homage to his New Jersey roots.
Tribute patch: "Toms River" -- Frazier grew up in Toms River, N.J., and he said he wanted to honor his hometown that has "been so good and supportive" of him over the years.

Jaime Garcia: "J Gar"
Garcia shares a name with his father, so his family has called him "J Gar" since he was a kid, and many friends and teammates have called him that for a long time.
Tribute patch: "Jesus Christ" -- Garcia's faith has always played a big role in his life, and it has carried him to where he is now, especially after going through two trades this season.

Brett Gardner: "Gardner"
While simply wearing his last name on may not seem like a big deal, it is still unique, as the Yankees traditionally do not don names on their jerseys. Gardner told Yanks equipment manager Rob Cucuzza Jr. to write "Gardner" or "Gardy." He went with "Gardner."

Sonny Gray: "Pickles"
"Pickles" was a joke nickname Gray's A's teammates came up with when they were first coming up with Players Weekend nicknames in their clubhouse. While he does enjoy Pickles, Gray said the nickname stemmed more from his teammates picking up on the fact his starts seemed to coincide with the team wearing green jerseys.

Chad Green: "Greeny"
Manager Joe Girardi and most of the Yankees in the clubhouse often refer to Green as "Greeny."

Didi Gregorius: "Sir Didi"
A native of Amsterdam, Netherlands, Gregorius was on the team that won the 2011 IBAF Baseball World Cup. Following the victory, each member of the team was knighted in Curacao.
Tribute patch: "To my Family and Friends & Coaches" -- Gregorius said he plays in honor of all of his friends, family and coaches, and that family is everything to him.

Chase Headley: "Head"
Headley "didn't have anything crazy to go with," so he kept it basic by shortening his last name, a nickname several teammates call him around the clubhouse.
Tribute patch: "Mom, Dad, & Nate" -- Headley grew up playing on the same team as his older brother, Nate, and he attributes much of his success to him, as well as to his parents, who sacrificed their time to travel with the boys to tournaments all over the country.

Aaron Hicks: "A-A RON"
"A-A Ron" is a joke from a Key & Peele skit in which a substitute teacher mispronounces simple names during roll call.

Aaron Judge: "All Rise"
The phrase has become wildly popular among Yankees fans with Judge's breakout season. "All Rise" can be found in his fan club at Yankee Stadium, "Judge's Chambers."
Tribute patch: "Mom & Dad"

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Tommy Kahnle: "The Kahn"
Like many other players, Kahnle went with a slight variation on his name.

David Robertson: "DRob"
Yankees fans are familiar with the moniker "A-Rod" of former third baseman Alex Rodriguez. "DRob" has become a similar popular name for Robertson among teammates and fans.
Tribute patch: "Mom & Dad"

Austin Romine: "Ro"
Short for his last name, Romine said it's something he has been called by friends and teammates since he was a kid, though he didn't originally choose to go by that name.
Tribute patch: "Mom & Dad" -- Romine said his dad taught him how to play baseball, and he wouldn't have been able to make it to the Majors without the support of his parents.

CC Sabathia: "Dub"
"Dub" is short for "double," as in double-C, or CC.
Tribute patch: "Vallejo" -- Vallejo, Calif., is Sabathia's hometown, and he is honoring it this weekend.

Gary Sanchez: "Kraken"
General manager Brian Cashman said a few years ago at the Winter Meetings that he hoped to "unleash the Kraken" that is Gary Sanchez on the Yanks' roster. The phrase comes from the legendary sea monster that resembles a giant squid.

Luis Severino: "Sevy"
It is a shortened version of his last name that Girardi and most of the team calls him.
Tribute patch: "My Family" -- Severino is choosing to honor his family, which has helped him get to where he is.

Chasen Shreve: "Shrever"
It's a nickname that Shreve has gone by since joining the Yankees, mainly thanks to Girardi, but he doesn't go by that outside of baseball.
Tribute patch: "Colby Shreve" -- Chasen's brother Colby is someone he has always looked up to and one of the reasons he got back into baseball right before high school after not playing for a number of years.

Masahiro Tanaka: "Masa"
It is short for Masahiro. Surprisingly, Tanaka did not choose to go with "Ma-kun," which was his nickname in Japan.
Tribute patch: "My Family"

Ronald Torreyes: "Toe"
Most of the Yankees players and coaches call him "Toe" on occasion, short for Torreyes.
Tribute patch: The Venezuelan utility man has decided to honor his family on his tribute patch.

Tyler Wade: "T-Wade"
Not to be confused with the nickname of NBA superstar Dwyane Wade, "T-Wade" is a nickname he has gone by for most of his life. He said pretty much everybody he knows calls him "T-Wade," his own mother included.
Tribute patch: "Mom & Dad" -- Wade is thankful to his parents for sacrificing much of their lives to travel with him to baseball tournaments as a kid.

Adam Warren: "Rocket"
Warren said that "Rocket" was a nickname given to him by his Minor League teammates in Class A ball. He still isn't sure what it means, though he did like Roger Clemens growing up, so he likes it.
Tribute patch: "Mom & Dad"

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