Rox to have fun, help out in Players Weekend

Nicknames, bright gear part of event across MLB Aug. 25-27

Rox to have fun, help out in Players Weekend

Rockies star center fielder Charlie Blackmon said he spent "way too little time ... maybe five seconds" dreaming up his Twitter handle: @Chuck_Nazty.

• Players Weekend gear available at MLBShop.com

"Had I known it would have followed me around like this, I probably would have put more thought into it," Blackmon said.

Well, during Major League Baseball's Players Weekend, scheduled for Aug. 25-27, @Chuck_Nazty will literally follow Blackmon everywhere he goes. As part of a program that emphasizes players' individualism and style -- one that will benefit the development of youth baseball and softball -- players will be permitted to wear their nicknames on their game jerseys.

The self-expression doesn't end there. Players will be allowed to wear the freshest gear -- as long as it doesn't violate rules designed to prevent safety hazards -- and even will wear a patch that will be a vehicle for thanking those who helped them reach the sport's highest level.

The patch was especially appealing. Blackmon, for example, is honoring his mother and father, while third baseman Nolan Arenado will highlight his family. Shortstop Trevor Story still looks up to his older brother, Tyler, who played at the University of Texas at Tyler.

"Yeah, I put my big brother on there," Trevor Story said. "He's the one who kind of pushed me to be better. Just growing up with him, competing, I think he had a lot to do with me becoming a good baseball player."

Arenado has always enjoyed the latest fashions in batting gloves, spikes and other accessories. So he's going to have fun with his look.

"Yeah, it's really cool. It's nice that we're doing something different and something that is player-oriented," Arenado said. "It's just good for the game to do something different. It's cool that Major League Baseball is thinking of different ideas, you know, to get people fired up, get the fans interested more. That's what it's all about. I think it's great for the game."

Game-worn jerseys will be auctioned to benefit the MLB-MLB Players Association Youth Development Foundation.

"I think it's really cool," Blackmon said. "It's great that they're doing things for a specific cause where money is going to be donated specifically. I think it is great that we do the Mother's Day-Father's Day cancer thing, but this a little bit different, because money is going directly to something rather than an awareness thing."

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

• Nolan Arenado: "NADO"
• Charlie Blackmon: "CHUCK NAZTY"
Carlos Gonzalez: "CARGO"
Mark Reynolds: "SHERIFF"
DJ LeMahieu: "DJ"
• Trevor Story: "JOE"
Gerardo Parra: "EL YOLO"
Jonathan Lucroy: "LUC"
Jon Gray: "GRAY WOLF"
Jeff Hoffman: "HOFF"

And here is the official information on Players Weekend:

• MLB and the MLB Players Association are introducing the inaugural Players Weekend on Aug. 25-27, when all players will wear colorful, non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs.

• They will have the opportunity to have a nickname placed on the back of the jerseys made by Majestic Athletic, as well as to 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 player will mark a name of a person who 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 U.S. and Canada.

• The uniforms will first be worn by the Pirates and Cardinals during the MLB Little League Classic to be played in Williamsport, Pa., on Sunday, Aug. 20, during the 2017 Little League World Series. That game will take place at Bowman Field, home of the Williamsport Crosscutters, a Phillies affiliate in the short-season Class A New York-Penn League.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and like his Facebook page. William Kosileski contributed. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.