© 2024 ALLCITY Network Inc.
All rights reserved.
DENVER – Last season, Major League Baseball introduced Players’ Weekend, a three-day affair allowing players to wear personalized gear and nicknames across the back of Little League style jerseys adorned by a patch honoring those who have aided in their career.
Around Coors Field for the Cardinals series, fans observed Nolan Arenado as “NADO”, David Dahl as “BABY DAHL”, Tony Wolters as “T-DUB”, Scott Oberg will be “OBIE” and Wade Davis as “WADER”.
Relief pitcher Seunghwan Oh used Korean characters to display his full name, which is Oh Seung-hwan in his native country.
Several Rockies players selected nicknames already familiar to fans, such as Charlie Blackmon’s “CHUCK NAZTY”, Carlos Gonzalez’s “CARGO” and Jon Gray’s “GRAY WOLF.”
For rookie Ryan McMahon, the origins of the nickname “MCDOOGLE” is less well-known.
While hanging with friends and teammates Correlle Prime and Jordan Patterson, the elder players suggested that “Mac” could be paired with just about anything as a nickname and sound fairly cool.
While known as “McMuffin” to his childhood friends, the Rockies prospects settled on “McDoogle” as the best and the name stuck for McMahon.
The AT&T SportsNet team features a few retired players that shared their what-could-have-been nicknames.
Former Rockies player and current Pre-/Post-Game analyst Cory Sullivan, often called Sully by friends and fans alike, preferred to go with a nickname only known to teammates: “SEABISCUIT.” Or just “BISCUIT” for short.
Released in 2003, the Academy Award-nominated film of the same name about an undersized racehorse that defied odds to become one of the greatest of all-time was a fitting one for slight-of-frame Sullivan who played a huge role on a run to the World Series in 2007.
The 15-year MLB veteran Jeff Huson said he would have honored his children with the nickname “PROUD PAPA”.
The family man recounted his days with the Disney-owned Anaheim Angels in 1999 when his children spent the summer coming into the clubhouse after victories and spending time at an amusement park nearby known as The Happiest Place on Earth.
As for the gear that won’t make it on the field this weekend, Tyler Anderson had cleats specially made to recognize his hometown of Las Vegas; emblazoned with “Vegas Strong”, the design was created to honor the victims of the October 1, 2017 shooting.
Though Adam Ottavino did not choose to do anything with his gear this year, citing a preference for the familiarity of the gear that has taken him to this point in the season, he mentioned honoring the youth sports teams of his past on his cleats in the future.
The man with the most to share on the topic of Players’ Weekend was AT&T SportsNet’s Ryan Spilborghs. The longtime Rockies outfielder and analyst said he would have opted for his Twitter handle “SPILLY GOAT” across the back of his jersey.
Spilborghs continued with a passion for why the personalization of the game during Players’ Weekend is a feature that should be offered to players and fans-alike throughout the season.
Citing numerous examples of the benefits to game, Spilborghs assured this bit of flare would not take away from the game, but only add to its mystique. He specifically singled out players who chose to honor a cause close to their heart or loved ones who have passed or friends and fans going through a hard time.
But the best nickname you won’t see this weekend has to go to Colorado’s Special Assistant to the GM, Vinny Castilla.
When the legendary Rockies third baseman was asked about the nickname he would have chosen during his playing days, Castilla was quick to answer as he walked past the BSN Denver team.
“EL CRIMINAL. Because I killed pitchers.”
Before he stepped through the clubhouse exit, he paused and turned back to add, “Just for fun.”