On Oct. 27, Justin Turner, third baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers, tested positive for COVID-19. This led to his subsequent removal from the Dodgers’ World Series 3-1 win.
Game six, which took place at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas against Florida’s Tampa Bay Rays, marked the first time since 1988 that the Dodgers have won the World Series.
Initially, the lab that processed the COVID-19 tests told the Major League Baseball Organization that Turner’s initial COVID-19 test from Monday showed as inconclusive. On Tuesday, another set of COVID-19 tests were performed, which showed that Turner had tested positive for COVID-19.
The MLB contacted the Dodgers, asking for Turner’s removal from the field, and infielder Edwin Rios took his place. Afterwards, Turner was moved into isolation to prevent further spread of the virus.
Approximately an hour after the game ended, Turner and his wife, Kourtney Pogue, returned to the field. The couple initially wore surgical face masks and Turner proceeded to celebrate the win by hugging his teammates and taking a post-game walk around the Globe Life Diamond.
However, upon sitting next to Dodgers’ manager Dave Robert, Turner removed his mask for team pictures and photographs with the trophy.
In a statement released by the MLB on Oct. 28, the league responded to Turner’s actions upon returning to the field.
“While a desire to celebrate is understandable, Turner’s decision to leave isolation and enter the field was wrong and put everyone he came into contact with at risk,” the MLB said in the statement. “When MLB security raised the matter of being on the field with Turner, he emphatically refused to comply.”
The MLB also announced that an investigation by the Commissioner’s Officers would begin alongside the Players Association in accordance with the 2020 Operations manual.
Since the MLB decided to place all teams competing in the division series, league championship series and World series in “neutral-site bubbles” designed to minimize risk of infection, Turner was the first player to have a positive COVID-19 test.
The Dodgers and Rays also had rapid polymerase chain reaction COVID-19 tests done after the game and before they returned to their respective cities on Wednesday. Turner did not travel back to Los Angeles with his teammates.