When the teams take the field for the first of three Players’ Weekend games on Friday, you’ll notice a uniform patch in memory of the late Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, who passed away unexpectedly at the age of 27 on July 1. But several players who knew Skaggs well will be taking that tribute a step further, coming together as a community in honor of a departed baseball brother.
A group of nine players -- Brewers outfielders Ryan Braun and Christian Yelich and third baseman Mike Moustakas, Nationals starter Patrick Corbin, White Sox starter Lucas Giolito, Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty, Braves starter Max Fried, and Rangers reliever Jesse Chavez and first baseman Scott Heineman -- will wear jerseys with a tribute to Skaggs on the back in lieu of their previously chosen Players’ Weekend nicknames.
“Players’ Weekend is all about expressing yourself, whether that be with style or those types of things,” Giolito said. “We just want to express our love for him. It’s never going to end, despite his passing, and we are in support of his family as they continue to go through this hard time.”
For one game this weekend, Yelich, Braun, Moustakas, Fried, Flaherty, Giolito and Heineman will wear “LOVE YOU TY” on the backs of their jerseys, while Chavez and Corbin will be wearing “FORTY FIVE” (Skaggs’ jersey number) for a nickname with their own jersey number underneath.
The plan is for the players to wear their Skaggs tribute jerseys on Friday, while wearing the Players’ Weekend nicknames they previously selected the following two days. The only exception is Fried, who has asked to wear his tribute for his start against the Mets that is currently scheduled for Saturday. Chavez is currently on the injured with a right elbow impingement, but he is eligible to return on Friday.