Kicker: Players’ Weekend

NICK EICHER, HOST: Major League Baseball has a fairly new annual tradition. It’s called Player’s Weekend, during which time they can custom design their bats and cleats.

And each player gets to choose what words are printed on the back of his jersey, right above his numbers. Something other than his last name, obviously. And this year, players got really creative!

Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Eric Thames made a play on his initials, ET, like the movie—so he had “phone home” on his back.

And wouldn’t you know it, he hit a big home run, to the delight of the play-by-play announcer.

AUDIO: Back to the wall. Gone! For Thames. ET, phone home! Long distance phone call for Eric Thames!

New York Mets outfielder Jeff McNeil chose his college nickname, “Flying Squirrel,” while Kansas City Royals pitcher Scott Barlow was “Scoots McGoots.”

But I think the winner has to go to Atlanta Braves reliever Mark Melancon. The name is spelled M-E-L-A-N-C-O-N, so you have to figure people pronounce it every which way. And they do. So on his jersey, he spelled it out phonetically. Muh-LAN-son. Which is helpful.

So if you were a big league baseball player, what would you choose for your jersey?  

REICHARD: I’ve already thought about this.  My maiden name is Hammer…so, I’d go with HAMMERTIME! 

OK, that means you’d never retire!

REICHARD: Because I’m too legit to quit!

EICHER: It’s The World and Everything in It.

(AP Photo/Julio Cortez) Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Eric Sogard (9) sports his Players Weekend jersey while standing in the dugout with teammates prior to a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, in Baltimore. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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