Report: Non-Playing MLB Personnel Will Need COVID-19 Vaccine for Playoff Field Access

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IISeptember 17, 2021

CINCINNATI, OHIO - AUGUST 30: A detail view of a MLB logo during the game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on August 30, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Dylan Buell/Getty Images

All non-playing MLB personnel must be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to gain access to the field and any restricted areas this postseason, per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports and The Athletic.

Ken Rosenthal @Ken_Rosenthal

MLB will require non-playing personnel (managers, coaches, athletic trainers, etc.) to be vaccinated for COVID-19 in order to gain access to field and other restricted areas in postseason, sources tell <a href="https://twitter.com/TheAthletic?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TheAthletic</a>. 1/2

That group includes managers, coaches, athletic trainers and more, per Rosenthal, who noted personnel who are currently unvaccinated and want access in the postseason will need to have received one dose of a two-dose vaccine before Oct. 4 and have a second dose scheduled.

The MLB playoffs will kick off with the American League Wild Card game on Tuesday, Oct. 5.

As of June 25, 23 MLB teams had reached the 85 percent vaccination rate, per the Associated Press. One team that hadn't reached that mark as of Aug. 29 was the Boston Red Sox, per Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe.

Vaccine mandates are nothing new around the league.

The Houston Astros and Washington Nationals mandated that all full-time, non-playing personnel must be vaccinated or face termination. Nats vice president Bob Boone notably resigned due to the mandate.

The Chicago Cubs also issued a vaccine mandate in early September, per ESPN's Jesse Rogers.

T-Mobile Park, the home of the Seattle Mariners, also announced mask mandates and proof of vaccination requirements.

Now MLB has instituted its mandate with the playoffs fewer than three weeks away.

Last year, MLB held a 16-team playoff with all games taking place in Texas or California in quasi-bubble environments. There weren't any coronavirus issues until Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner tested positive for COVID-19 in the final game of the World Series.