Breakdown of Phillies’ Players Weekend names

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During pregame workouts and postgame interviews, players will wear T-shirts highlighting a charity or cause of their choice. The game-worn jerseys will be auctioned at with 100 percent of net proceeds donated to the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation, which is focused on “improving the caliber, effectiveness and availability of amateur baseball and softball programs across the U.S. and Canada.”

• Players Weekend gear available at

Some players that joined the team this month, like Rhys Hoskins, will not have nicknames on the backs of their jerseys because they missed a deadline. Others simply chose not to have a nickname.

Andres Blanco: “Whitey”
Blanco means “white” in Spanish. Teammates started calling him “Whitey” years ago.
Tribute patch: Hector Blanco/Criollitos de Venezuela — Hector Blanco is Blanco’s father. “He took me every week to play baseball,” Blanco said. “Criollitos is the league I played in when I was a kid.”

Jorge Alfaro: “El Oso”
It means “bear” in Spanish. Alfaro said he got the nickname upon signing with the Rangers in 2010.

Nick Williams: Nicky Dubs
Williams is called “Nicky Dubs” by teammates. “I would have put ‘Goofy’ or ‘Silly’ on there, but everybody calls me ‘Nicky Dubs,'” Williams said.
Tribute patch: Ken Goodfriend — Goodfriend is Williams’ future father-in-law. “He’s awesome,” Williams said. “He’s just done so much for me. I feel like I can tell him anything. Sometimes I can call him late at night, if I want an opinion on something.”

Maikel Franco: “Compa F”
Luis Garcia, Hector Neris and Franco are buddies — Garcia and Franco are godfathers to Neris’ son — so they chose similar nicknames. “Compa” is short for “compadres.” “We’ve got a good relationship,” Franco said. “Inside baseball, outside baseball. They know my family. I know their families. I go to their homes. They come to me. It’s like a family. We’re like brothers.”
Tribute patch: Domingo Franco — He is Franco’s grandfather. “I grew up with him,” Franco said. “He inspired me a lot. He always told me about baseball, he taught me about the game.”

Freddy Galvis: “Toco”
Galvis’ brother gave him the nickname. “It’s a made up word,” Galvis said. “In my hometown in Venezuela, when I played on the streets or basketball courts, he called me that. So everybody started calling me that. So people in my hometown know me as that.”
Tribute patch: My family/mi familia — “I’m here right now because of my family,” Galvis said. “All the work they put in, trying to raise me the right way when I was young.”

Ty Kelly: “TK”
“I’ve never had a weird nickname or anything,” Kelly said. “It works.”
Tribute patch: Dad/Tracy Little League — “My dad was the sports guy in our family,” Kelly said. “He threw tons of BP to me. He’d meet me after school every day. The Little League fields were at my middle school. He would meet me after school and set up the ‘L’ screen and start throwing to me.”

Cesar Hernandez: “Cesita”
It means “little Cesar” in Spanish. Hernandez’s dad is also named Cesar, and Hernandez’s mother got tired of trying to figure out who family and friends were talking about, so she changed her son’s name.
Tribute patch: God/Dios — “He gave us life,” Hernandez said.

Tommy Joseph: “ToJo”
Tribute patch: Dad — Joseph chose to thank his father, John Joseph. “He’s the man,” Joseph said.

Aaron Nola
Tribute patch: Mom and Dad/Rough Cuts — “It’s a league I played in when I was 13,” Nola said. “My dad coached me from the time I was nine until I was a freshman in high school. He coached me in Rough Cuts, too.”

Cameron Rupp: “Pavo”
It means “turkey” in Spanish. Carlos Ruiz gave him the nickname last season, and it stuck with the Latino players. But here is the best part: Rupp only learned what it meant when he decided to put the name on the back of his jersey.
Tribute patch: Mom and Dad — “I wouldn’t be here without them,” Rupp said. “My athletic ability comes from my dad. My mom took me to every other practice, not to mention my brother and sister. Her plate was always full. When my dad traveled with work, my mom took me everywhere. I remember leaving my baseball stuff in the back of my dad’s car, and my mom would have to drive me to his work to go get it.”

Hyun Soo Kim
Kim’s nickname is his name in Korean.

Adam Morgan: “A-Mo”
Nothing fancy here, but teammates do use it.
Tribute patch: My Family — “The biggest thing is the patch on the sleeve,” Morgan said. “I’m thanking my family. That’s the most important thing for me. It’s not the jersey itself. It’s the opportunity to thank them on the field.”

Jesen Therrien: “MTL-NORD”
“It’s the town I’m from,” Therrien said. “It’s like Montreal North. It’s not really my nickname, but I just wanted to be proud of where I’m from and show kids back there that it’s possible to make it.”

Jerad Eickhoff: “Eick”
It’s just the name teammates gave him over the years.
Tribute patch: St. Joe Baseball/St. Wendel Baseball — “St. Joe Baseball is where I went through the Pony baseball system, T-ball, pitching machine and everything,” Eickhoff said. “I came through there, went to grade school there, just a great experience. It’s just where everything started. And St. Wendel, when I was too old to play Pony, it was right before high school, it’s where I played Babe Ruth baseball.”

Ben Lively: “Bebo”
“My grandpa [Jim Lively] gave it to me,” Lively said. “Every time we went to Little League practice, there was a Bebo’s car wash on the way there. It just kind of stuck.”

Hoby Milner
Tribute patch: University Little League — Milner plans to give his jersey to the Little League affiliation in Fort Worth, Texas, so he said it is probably better he does not have nickname on the back of it. He chose “Hoby-Wan Kenobi,” but it got rejected because of trademark concerns.

Luis Garcia: “Compa G”
Garcia, Neris and Franco are buddies — Garcia and Franco are godfathers to Neris’ son — so they chose similar nicknames. “Compa” is short for “compadres.”
Tribute patch: God/Dios — “It’s my friend upstairs,” Garcia said.

Mark Leiter Jr.: “Junior”
No explanation necessary here.

Edubray Ramos: “Tico”
A family member gave him the nickname.

Hector Neris: “Compa N”
Garcia, Neris and Franco are buddies — Garcia and Franco are godfathers to Neris’ son — so they chose similar nicknames. “Compa” is short for “compadres.”
Tribute patch: God/Dios — “Jesus, for me, is everything,” Neris said. “It’s my strength. It’s my hope. I believe I can talk to him. I believe I can tell him my problems.”

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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