Dodgers Reflect On Lack Of 2020 World Series Celebration With Return To Globe Life Field

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The 2020 calendar will go down in history as one of the most notorious in memory, and that’s no different for the MLB season that ultimately saw the Los Angeles Dodgers crowned World Series champions.

To get to that point, however, was a bumpy ride. And it wasn’t exactly smooth sailing throughout. The year started as any other with Spring Training getting underway and expectations high for the Dodgers after a trade with the Boston Red Sox for Mookie Betts.

But as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continued to spread throughout the world, MLB canceled the remainder of Spring Training on March 12 and delayed Opening Day indefinitely.

It wasn’t until July 6 that Opening Day was set for July 23, which had two games scheduled, including the Dodgers facing the San Francisco Giants. In addition, the season was reduced to 60 games while numerous health and safety protocols were implemented.

The Dodgers powered their way through the 60-game season, going an MLB-best 43-17 (116-win pace over 162 games) as they clinched the top seed in the 2020 MLB postseason bracket.

L.A. made quick work of the Milwaukee Brewers with a two-game sweep in the NL Wild Card Round and followed with another sweep of the San Diego Padres in the NL Division Series. Although they fell down 3-1 to the Atlanta Braves in the NL Championship Series, the Dodgers won the next three games to punch their ticket to the World Series against the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Dodgers ended up taking the series in six games, giving the franchise its first World Series title since 1988 and Clayton Kershaw his first ring.

While it was an accomplishment to be proud of, Kershaw’s first and only experience winning a World Series was different than that of other players, which he reflected on as the Dodgers return to Globe Life Field this weekend, via Jack Harris of the L.A. Times:

“Definitely not how you would anticipate it,” pitcher Clayton Kershaw said. … “Ultimately, we can say we won, so that trumps everything. But yeah, parades look fun.”

Following the Wild Card round, the Dodgers, and every other postseason club remaining, was placed into a bubble, playing all their games at a neutral field. For the Dodgers, that came at Globe Life Field, which also happened to be the site for the World Series.

Limited numbers of fans were allowed to enter the stadium, but most Dodgers fans were living roughly 1,400 miles away, which helped create a strange atmosphere for the team to celebrate in, rather than being surrounded by 56,000 cheering fans, manager Dave Roberts recalled:

“I wouldn’t say it was anticlimactic,” manager Dave Roberts said, “but in a sense it was.”

Members of the organization were allowed to have their families with them in the bubble, but with most places closed down due to the virus and the team being stuck in a hotel most of the time, Max Muncy remembered the accomplishment lacking the usual buzz and joy:

“It was like a total lockdown,” Muncy said. “There wasn’t really a whole lot of celebrating.”

For Dodgers fans, a few memories come to mind of the celebration, including Kershaw running from the bullpen to the field with his hands in the air and Julio Urías draping himself in Mexico’s flag. But perhaps the most lingering image is that of Justin Turner on the field celebration with his wife, Kourtney.

The Dodgers had to remove Justin Turner from the game prior to the eighth inning when it was revealed he tested positive for COVID-19. MLB protocols stated he had to quarantine away from the team, but at the urging of teammates and president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, he returned to the field to celebrate with his teammates.

Although Turner was able to have a small celebration with the team, it took away his opportunity to be on the field for the final out and fully experience the outcome.

Ultimately, the 2020 World Series championship brought joy to the city in a dark time and it’s something no one will ever be able to take away from the Dodgers.

Will Smith learned from 2020 World Series

While Will Smith’s offensive numbers have never been a question, his game-calling and managing a pitching staff were areas that needed growth. That became particularly evident to Smith as he was often utilized as the designated hitter en route to the Dodgers winning the 2020 World Series.

Smith said that experience helped fuel him to improve on some of his perceived weaknesses.

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