Now that MLB’s Players Weekend jerseys and hats have officially been revealed in advance of the end-of-August celebration, it’s time to start judging people. Lightly, of course, but judging is happening nonetheless.
We’ve already called out the players who decided not to use a nickname at all, since they clearly hate fun. (It’s also possible that the league refused to approve their nickname requests for one reason or another, but let’s just go with “hates fun” for right now.)
So this is the time to look through the entirety of the league’s nicknames and see who really stepped up to the plate here (baseball puns!) and who struck out looking. Below, the greatest and most awful nicknames from around baseball based on no real rankings system and put in whatever order I thought to put them in while writing this.
Look, it’s only fair that the effort for this post matched the level of the effort players put in choosing their nicknames.
Carl’s Jr - Carl Edwards Jr. (Cubs)
Edwards Jr. is the only player in the league who was allowed to put a brand name on the back of his jersey. The policy makes sense in that the league can’t have players compromising their sponsorship deals with other companies that could conflict.
If there was one exception that the league was going to make (seeing as it had to approve all of jerseys), we’re glad it was this one.
Who? - Chih-Wei Hu (Rays)
This evokes “Who’s On First?” in a big way, which is fun. Too bad Hu is a pitcher and doesn’t actually play first base. It’s a nice joke about the homonymic nature of his name, and hopefully the announcers take advantage of the weekend to make a lot of puns in the booth.
Corey’s Brother - Kyle Seager (Mariners)
Seager said, in regards to Corey not picking a nickname for the weekend at all,
“He’s boring. You’ve got to do better than that. If you’re going to play that good then you gotta do something.”
For Players Weekend, Kyle is the better Seager sibling. You did this to yourself, Corey.
Beef - Welington Castillo (Orioles)
Get it? Like Beef Wellington? Because his name is Wellington? He loses a few fake points here because it was already his nickname but it’s a great nickname that makes us laugh so it belongs in the Top 10.
Tokki 2 - Joey Votto (Reds)
Votto’s jersey corresponds to that of the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo, who will have “Tokki 1” on his back. You can read the full story of why these two players chose the nicknames they did over at Red Reporter, but if for some reason you don’t have time to make the extra click (just make the extra click) it’s a story of teammate bonding from years ago that has endured until now. Aw, heartwarming teammate friendships are the best.
오승환 - Seung-hwan Oh (Cardinals)
Oh getting to use his native language and put Korean symbols on the back of his jersey is super cool and not something that can happen usually in the league. This is the perfect example of a player not choosing a nickname, but instead using the Players Weekend opportunity to do something unique on the field.
PTBNL - Josh Phegley (A’s)
This is so beautiful. Phegley, who fits the bill of a Player to Be Named Later perfectly as a backup catcher who came to Oakland as a throwaway player in a trade, isn’t afraid to poke fun at himself here and in the process has one of the best nickname jerseys of the weekend. Way to commit, Josh.
Pickles - Sonny Gray (Yankees)
Why did Sonny Gray choose Pickles for his nickname? Nobody seems to know. That makes it better, though, as he either just decided that his own nickname was going to be Pickles starting right now or there’s a really good story behind it. Gray just got to New York. Way to make an impression.
Knapp Time- Andrew Knapp (Phillies)
If Andrew Knapp’s nickname of “Knapp Time” stems from a situation where he once put someone to sleep in a high school brawl or something, that would be awesome. As it stands, it’s pretty awesome anyway. When your last name works as well as his does for a quick pun, it’s hard not to just go with the obvious choice.
Brotato - Brad Hand (Padres)
This could have gone poorly, but it’s just on the right side of silly frat bro that it works. Brotato is fun to say, and evokes a character from Dazed and Confused or American Pie. Silly? Yes. But the point of the weekend is to be silly for the most part. If Hand wants to let his bro flag fly, then more power to him.
10 Most Awful
Just Blaze - Michael Blazek (Brewers)
What? Oh god no. Where Brotato worked in a goofy, innocent frat bro way this one sees that line in the sand and catapults over it without looking back. It’s too obvious a pun (we get it, your nickname is Blaze) and while he’s probably been using that nickname since he was a teenager, there definitely could have been more creativity put into this one.
Speedpass - Steve Cishek (Rays)
Why? Just why?
Tommy Two Towel - Tommy Hunter (Rays)
This sounds like Hunter desperately wants to be a part of a Goodfellas remake but couldn’t think of anything better. If he did get cast in such a film, any character with this moniker would absolutely be the first one to tell everyone about a heist and get shot because of it.
King Krol - Ian Krol (Braves)
Fist - Doug Fister (Red Sox)
Fist is just a nickname we’re really about to let happen? Really? Combined with Chris “Stickman” Sale on the same team, the Red Sox are really cornering the Are You Sure About That One? market.
Mamba - Jonathan Schoop (Orioles)
All Rise - Aaron Judge (Yankees)
There are better judge puns out there, Aaron, and you know it. Fans have been yelling them at you all year. You couldn’t have done “Your Honor” or “... Jury, Executioner” or “Dredd”? There were so many other options, and Judge picked the weakest of the many that he had to choose from. He’s being held in contempt for this one.
TK - Ty Kelly (Phillies)
Not only is this just Kelly’s initials, but it also makes it look like he forgot to put a detail in and is waiting for his newspaper editor to fill things in for him.
B-Craw - Brandon Crawford (Giants)
This not only is too simple a nickname, and something that any high schooler could come up with for a friend, it also sounds like the nickname for someone who owns a roadside gas station/crawfish shack somewhere. And I wouldn’t trust Brandon Crawford around seafood.
CT3 - Chris Taylor (Dodgers)
This is just too easy. We get it. Your first name starts with C, your last name starts with T, and you wear number 3. Way to be creative. It also doesn’t even get “roll off the tongue” points because Chris Paul’s CP3 nickname is one letter off and he got there first.