Top ten Yankee nicknames from the inaugural MLB Players Weekend
This past weekend was one to remember, as it was Players Weekend all around Major League Baseball. Players from every team wore their uniforms with character and had a whole lot of fun doing so. Each team created a custom jersey that each player would wear. It was then up to the players to wear whatever cleats, wrist bands, socks and other accessories that they wanted. This was the first time the MLB had allowed such a thing to happen, so it was definitely an entertaining, unique experience for the players.
However, the one thing that really seemed to steal the show were the insane nicknames that were on the back of each jersey. The players were allowed to wear whatever nickname they wanted for players weekend. This was really different than the strict rules of major sports, so it was great to allow the players to have some creativity with what they wore on their backs. When it came to the Yankees, there was a wide range of interesting nicknames. Let’s take a look at the top ten nicknames of the Yankees from the inaugural MLB Players Weekend.
10th A-A Ron – Aaron Hicks
From the famous Key and Peele skit, Aaron Hicks hit this one right on the dot. With his humor on and off the field, Hicks continued to make people smile by using “A-a ron” as his nickname. It’s not too often that people do things because others told them to but maybe Hicks wasn’t the only one to come up with this one. Regardless, not too bad for the tenth spot on the list.
9th Chief - Jacoby Ellsbury
Now, you need to know the story behind Jacoby Ellsbury’s nickname in order to realize what a great idea it was. Ellsbury is part Navajo, which is a Native American territory in the southwestern part of the United States. To make more people aware of his heritage, he supported a great story behind his nickname earning him ninth on the list. It was a pretty creative idea by Ellsbury, who backed up his nickname with arguably his best weekend of the season.
8th Rocket – Adam Warren
Roger Clemens who? Adam Warren is who comes to mind when people think of “The Rocket,” of course. Being a hard thrower on the Yankees is not why Warren decided to support this nickname. Instead, coming up in the minor leagues, Warren was given the nickname even though he’s not quite sure what it was supposed to mean. He did like that it gave him something to share with his idol, Roger Clemens, growing up earning the eighth spot on the list.
7th Toddfather – Todd Frazier
Todd Frazier grew up south of the city of New York. New York, where the famous movie, “The Godfather” originated from. While with the Reds, Frazier was given the nickname and he has never looked back. He has embraced it throughout his Major League career, and it is certain that there will always be no place like home to Frazier earning him seventh on the list.
6th Kraken – Gary Sanchez
It is far, it is deep, and it is gone! This was heard all to often last year and recently this year, thanks to Gary Sanchez or the Kraken (large sea monster or giant squid) to which many Yankees fan know him by. A few years ago, Brian Cashman was talking to reporters and he refereed to Sanchez by saying “I hope to release the kraken soon”. The nickname stuck with Sanchez all throughout his minor league career and he is sure helping his buddy Cashman by taking out every ship in his way, earning him sixth on the list.
5th Sir Didi – Didi Gregorius
Didi Gregorius has been the knight in shining armor ever since Derek Jeter retired in 2014. However, that is not where his famous “Sir Didi” nickname comes from. In 2011, Gregorius and his team won the IBAF World Cup. Following the victory, the country of Curacao knighted each team member and the nickname stuck, earning him fifth on the list.
4th Red Thunder – Clint Frazier
Clint Frazier could have the best flow of hair from someone with red hair. The way that his hair flows in the wind after tracking down a fly ball or jogging around the bases after a home run says it all. He brings the lighting with bat and glove, then shows off the “Red Thunder” with his hair, earning him fourth on the list.
3rd Pickles – Sonny Gray
When people think of Sonny Gray, they immediately think of pickles. Not really, but many people don’t know that he is a big pickles guy. He enjoys eating pickles on the daily, but that isn’t where he got the nickname. Gray got the name when he was with the A’s and teammates said he always started on days when the A’s would wear green. Even though he’s now in pinstripes, it is still a very unique nickname earning him third on the list.
2nd Head – Chase Headley
When Chase Headley comes to mind, there really isn’t a nickname to coincide with him. This is exactly the problem that Headley had when they needed a nickname for him. Headley told them to just put “Head” because it’s short and sweet and people love that. Being such a class act and showing it through his nickname earns Headley second on the list.
1st All Rise – Aaron Judge
The man, the myth, the Judge! Court is now in session so please “All Rise” for your Judge. By having such a unique last name, Judge has been given the idea that he is an actual judge in a courtroom, so when he is up to bat, all must rise for the Judge. This was very unique and whoever started this craze deserves a medal. Even with Judge struggling, his nickname is just beginning along with his “Judge’s Chambers” at Yankee Stadium. "All Rise" will be around for a while earning first on the list.
With a weekend full of laughs and fan engagement, the MLB did something unique to attract more fans and it is believed to have worked in a big way. It should be interesting to see if the MLB implements something like this in the future to helped promote the game of baseball. With nicknames being used this year, maybe another category may be used next year to keep it “fresh”. The MLB is on the right track with changing the game to attract more fans, but fans will have to wait until next year to see if they change players weekend up or if there even is a second one.
Article by: Cameron Hauze