The Nationals announced Saturday that fans will not be able to have personal items signed by players for the rest of spring training.
Due to recommendations from Major League Baseball, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the team is acting out of "an abundance of caution" by instructing its players to hand out pre-signed baseballs at games rather than autograph personal items.
Based on recommendations issued by MLB, the CDC, and the World Health Organization, the Nationals are making some changes to the way the we approach autographs at Spring Training.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) March 7, 2020
🔗 // https://t.co/EBrPTZDqZT pic.twitter.com/QHBWVGgEre
Washington also announced a change to its "Signature Sundays" events, informing fans that the team will provide memorabilia for the players and coaches to sign instead of allowing fans to bring their own items to be signed.
The coronavirus has already begun to leave its mark on the American professional sports landscape. Per multiple reports, the NBA distributed a memo to its teams Friday telling them to prepare for the possibility of playing games in empty arenas if the virus continues to spread. The MLB, NBA and NHL have already issued instructions to their respective players to limit fan contact as well.
The Nationals have two weeks left of Grapefruit League play before breaking camp and heading back up to D.C.
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