When the Nationals arrived at the ballpark Thursday, they expected another normal day of practice—well, about as normal as a practice that is social-distancing compliant and held in the midst of a global pandemic can be. But Thursday proved to be special, as the players opened their lockers only to find that their World Series rings had finally arrived.
The Nationals were originally supposed to receive their rings April 4 as part of a ceremony in front of a sold-out crowd at Nationals Park. However, those plans were canceled after the coronavirus pandemic forced MLB to delay the start of the season. The organization then decided to unveil the design May 24 and distribute the rings to a select few players but changed course when clubhouse leaders expressed that they wanted the team to receive them all together.
A little over eight months after the Nationals paraded down Constitution Avenue celebrating their title, manager Davey Martinez stood in the corner of the clubhouse and watched as his players finally had the chance to open the rings they had earned.
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“I’m still smiling about it,” Martinez said in a Zoom press conference. “It was definitely worth the wait. We waited a while to get these things on our finger but…it’s all about the work we put in to this, the players, the way we did it, the way the players did it. Just means a lot to me, means a lot to my family. Proud to be wearing this thing today and we’re here again to hopefully get another one.”
With no fans expected to be in the stands for the 2020 season, the Nationals have opted to wait before raising their World Series banner. Martinez is hopeful that by the time the D.C. faithful is let back into the ballpark, the Nationals will have two banners that need raising.
“It’s definitely sad that we couldn’t have the fans here with us,” Martinez said. “Our fans are our 26th man. They were there through thick and thin with us all year long. But I’ve always said this: We’ll do this again, hopefully with them in the stands.”
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