The Washington Nationals are backtracking and will no longer hold their virtual World Series ring ceremony as planned on Sunday night.
The Nats unveiled their ring ceremony plans in a press release on Tuesday. A handful of players would receive their World Series rings virtually while others would see the design for the first time that night. According to The Athletic, the idea “irked some in the organization… particularly players”, which took away the opportunity to receive and see the rings together for the first time as a team. In this plan, most coaches, players, and broadcasters would have received their rings a few days later.
After the announcement and subsequent Athletic story, Nationals team leaders spoke to players, and “the players collectively decided they would prefer to receive their rings when the team could be physically reunited.”
Nationals’ World Series Ring bobbleheads are available on FOCO’s website. In-stock bobbleheads are also currently 40% off to celebrate Memorial Day weekend.
The Nationals will still reveal the design of their World Series rings Sunday night (May 24) to celebrate the one-year anniversary the team was 19-31 — the lowest part of their championship season. The team will also still debut their documentary Improbable in two parts as planned. After the conclusion of Improbable on Sunday night, the team will reveal the design of the World Series Ring and air the “Kolko and Friends Live After Party,” that will be hosted by Dan Kolko and feature interviews and reaction from Ryan Zimmerman, Howie Kendrick, and Max Scherzer.
The Nationals’ full statement reads as followed.
Our World Series rings were originally scheduled to be presented to our players and staff prior to the second home game of the 2020 season. As fans, media, employees, coaches and players continued to ask about when World Series rings would be distributed, the Nationals planned a special, first of its kind virtual ring ceremony. We knew it wouldn’t be ideal, but it would offer the collective opportunity to reconnect with our fans and support important work being done in our community by Capital Area Food Bank and World Central Kitchen who has served 350,000 meals from Nationals Park during this pandemic.
We talked to a number of our team leaders who liked the idea. We proceeded with plans to create a virtual experience that would bring players and fans together to share in the unveiling of our World Series ring design for the first time. Just like everyone else, our plans were at the mercy of the pandemic. As our fans know, May 24th is a special day in our club’s history and we worked feverishly – navigating plant closures and government shutdowns – to pull together a world-class show.
When team leaders discussed the plan this week with the players, the players collectively decided they would prefer to receive their rings when the team could be physically reunited. We support that decision.
Having received such positive community feedback surrounding the announcement, we decided to proceed with the design unveil of the ring as planned, the premiere of our documentary Improbable, as well as the Nats4Good fundraiser as scheduled. In addition, team leaders have been working with our production team to put together a show entitled the “Kolko and Friends Live After Party,” that will be hosted by Dan Kolko and feature Ryan Zimmerman, Howie Kendrick and Max Scherzer sharing their reactions to the World Series ring design, discussion about the team’s philanthropic efforts and fun moments from the Improbable documentary.
We are excited to unveil our documentary, World Series ring design and to have our players share their excitement with our fans this weekend!
Headline photo: Ian Oland/RMNB
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