Every player has a story and almost every nickname stitched onto the Player’s Weekend jerseys holds some glimpse into the background and personalities of the players.
Similar to White Sox’ Kevan Smith, who chose to put “Szmydth” on the back of his jersey to pay tribute to his family’s Polish heritage, Orioles’ Darren O’Day’s jersey also carried a special meaning.
O’Day’s jersey, which reads “Odachowski” on the rear, commemorated his family history. He said it’s the original spelling of his family’s name. The 34-year-old reliever also wore a glove with “Odachowski” stitched on the side.
O’Day shared his reasoning in a video shared by the Orioles on Twitter on Sunday.
O’Day’s grandfather, Stanley Odachowski, met his wife, Geraldine, in Chicago. Together, the couple had three children, including O’Day’s father, Ralph.
After Stanley returned from fighting in World War II, he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, according to O’Day. A few years later, Stanley tragically died, leaving Geraldine to raise her three boys on her own in the Windy City.
While she was working at a Montgomery Ward store, Geraldine changed her last name to “Odach,” which was pronounced “Oh-day.” When Ralph got married, he kept his mother’s last name, but spelled it “O’Day.”
The Player’s Weekend jerseys seems to keep the luck rolling for the Orioles, who swept the Red Sox in a three-game series over the weekend. The Orioles are 65-65 this season and are third in the AL East standings — eight games behind the Red Sox, who sit above the Yankees in first.
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