Cardinals excited to open Players Weekend

St. Louis faces Pittsburgh Aug. 20 in MLB Little League Classic in Williamsport, Pa.

Cardinals excited to open Players Weekend

Paul DeJong had it all set. He was going to have the nickname "Paulie D" stitched to the back of his Cardinals jersey when St. Louis takes on the Pirates on Aug. 20 during the MLB Little League Classic in Williamsport, Pa. As the opening act of the inaugural Players Weekend on Aug. 25-27, the clubs have the opportunity to showcase colorful, non-traditional uniforms.

Players Weekend gear available at MLBShop.com

But DeJong's original plan went astray.

There can be no "Paulie D."

"Apparently, some disc jockey in California has that trademark," DeJong said. "Since I can't be that, I'm just going to wear my regular name."

Perhaps the top Cardinals' nickname on the jersey will belong to right-hander Carlos Martinez, who will wear "Tsunami."

"That fits him," DeJong said with a smile.

After the Cards and Pirates provide the sneak preview, all other clubs will get into the act Aug. 25-27. Players can have colorful, non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs. The nicknames on the back of the jerseys will be made by Majestic Athletic. Players can also wear and use uniquely colored and designed spikes, batting gloves, wristbands, compression sleeves, catcher's masks and bats.

Players will wear specially designed caps by New Era and unique socks from Stance. During pregame workouts and postgame interviews, they will wear T-shirts highlighting a charity or cause of their choice.

Also, each player will wear a special patch on his sleeve showing the progression of a child evolving into a Major Leaguer. Under that logo is white space and every players will mark the name of a person they are grateful to for helping them advance their careers, such as family or a coach.

Game-worn Players Weekend jerseys will be auctioned at MLB.com/auctions with 100 percent of net proceeds donated to the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation, a joint effort established in July, 2015 by MLB and the MLBPA with an initial commitment of $30 million focused on improving the caliber, effectiveness and availability of amateur baseball and softball programs across the United States and Canada.

The Cards-Pirates showcase will take place at Bowman Field, home of the Williamsport Crosscutters, a Phillies affiliate in the Short-Season Class A New York-Penn League.

Cardinals reliever John Brebbia, who chose his parents and wife as names to have on his sleeve patch, admits he's not much on creativity from a uniform standpoint.

"I have no flair and no fun about me, unfortunately," Brebbia said. "Standard uniform."

Outfielder Randal Grichuk will be going with "Grich" on the back of his jersey in Williamsport.

"Nothing too crazy," Grichuk said. "That's just what everybody calls me."

For Grichuk, the trip to Williamsport will be laced with nostalgia. He played in the Little League World Series for his suburban Houston team in 2003 and '04. He batted .632 in his 12-year-old season there and helped his team finish third.

"It's really going to be special to go back there," Grichuk said. "That's going to bring back a lot of great memories."

Here's a list of nicknames that some Cardinals are expected to sport on the back of their jerseys on Players Weekend:

Yadier Molina: "YADI"
• Martinez: "TSUNAMI"
Dexter Fowler: "DEX"
Matt Carpenter: "CARP"
Kolten Wong: "WONGER"
Mike Leake: "SPARKY"
Adam Wainwright: "WAINO"
Michael Wacha: "WACH"
Trevor Rosenthal: "BIG T"
• Grichuk: "GRICH"