Sure, a nine-inning game might take longer than four hours, but players have their nicknames on their backs and fluorescent-colored cleats, so come on out to the ballpark or tune in kids...
That seems to be the message from Major League Baseball for at least one weekend this season.
MLB will relax its uniform rules Aug. 25-27 and allow players to put nicknames on the backs of jerseys, wear fluorescent-colored shoes and personalize a patch on their uniform paying tribute to someone, according to a memo obtained by Yahoo Sports.
The event, dubbed "Players Weekend," was worked out between MLB and its Players Association and appears to be an attempt to reach a younger demographic, with whom baseball's popularity is eroding.
The Red Sox are home against the Baltimore Orioles that weekend and normally don't wear names on the backs of their home jerseys, but team president Sam Kennedy told WEEI they'll make an exception for "Players Weekend."
The jerseys from the weekend will be sold by MLB, which will donate the proceeds to the Youth Development Foundation, and organization that MLB and MLBPA work on together.
According to the memo:
*“Inappropriate or offensive” nicknames won't be allowed.
*Colors on shoes, batting gloves, wristbands, compression sleeves and catcher’s masks must avoid interfering with the game and an umpire’s ability to make a call. So, no white gloves, wristbands and sleeves.
*The patch on the uniform will include a space for a player to personalize it with "the name of an individual or organization that was instrumental to his development.”