TORONTO — Most of the Phillies' nickname jerseys for the second annual Players Weekend are pretty self-explanatory.
Rhys Hoskins, the 6-foot-4 slugger, is "Big Fella," while Tommy Hunter, the 250-pound reliever, is "Bigger Fella." Zach Eflin is "Ef" and Andrew Knapp is "Knapp Time." Scott Kingery chose his longtime nickname "Jetpax" and Wilson Ramos is wearing "Buffalo," the nickname that has followed him since he played for the Nationals.
But what's up with Austin Davis having "Big Fudge" on his back this weekend?
"To my friends, I'm big and I was a little fat coming out of college," said the 6-foot-4 Davis, who is listed at 245 pounds. "I was pushing 255. I was a little overweight and there was just one instance that kind of made it stick. We were at a pool party and I sat down in a chair. The chair broke under me and that kind of solidified 'Big Fudge.' They also called me 'fat' or 'tubby,' just joking, and when I broke through the chair, 'Big Fudge' was born."
Davis will wear his 'Big Fudge' jersey this weekend against the Blue Jays but he will not see any game action as he's on the disabled list with a sore back. The lefthanded reliever can be activated as early as Monday.
The 'Big Fudge' nickname was inspired from the sitcom How I Met Your Mother, which was on TV when Davis was in college at Cal State Bakersfield. The Phillies drafted him in the 12th round of the 2014 draft and six months later he shed some of his fudge.
"Honestly, it was by accident," Davis said. "I went to Nicaragua and played there in the winter of 2015 and the food wasn't bad but there wasn't that much around. You had to get your own pregame and postgame meals, so there wasn't a lot of food. I ended up losing like 20 pounds while I was there. You tried to each as much as you could, but it's 90 degrees and humid."
Davis said his friends were thrilled with his jersey selection and tried to purchase it online after Davis sent them a picture. The neon red and blue jerseys also have a patch on the sleeve where each player can thank people who helped them reach the majors. Davis thanked his wife, his agent Josh Knipp, former first-rounder Luke Haggerty, who has worked with Davis since he was in high school, and former Royals infielder Buddy Biancalana, who talks to Davis twice a week about focus training.
They all played a role in Davis' journey that led him to the major leagues in June. And one of the first things the Phillies asked Davis after he arrived was what he wanted to wear two months later for Players Weekend.
"I was like, 'Should I say that it's "Big Fudge" or not?' But I said 'Screw it. It's Players Weekend.' We'll go for it," Davis said.