Nationals Won't Raise 2019 World Series Banner Without Fans in Stadium, Says GM

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 20, 2020

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 30:  Juan Soto #22 of the Washington Nationals hoists the Commissioners Trophy after defeating the Houston Astros 6-2 in Game Seven to win the 2019 World Series in Game Seven of the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 30, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Washington Nationals will wait until fans return to Nationals Park before they officially commemorate their 2019 World Series title.  

"I think as far as raising the banner and the distribution of rings, we're going to wait for our fanbase to be involved to do those types of things," president of baseball operations Mike Rizzo said on MLB Network Radio (h/t NBC Sports Washington's Matt Weyrich). "Those are once-in-a-lifetime things to do and our fanbase is such a big factor in helping us win that thing. They earned it, they deserve to be involved in it and we're going to wait for them to do it."

It's unclear when the Nationals will get to open their 2020 title defense, let alone take the field in their usual venue.

The COVID-19 pandemic halted the start of the season, and teams may have to compete behind closed doors in order to get things going again in a timely manner. 

ESPN's Jeff Passan reported MLB and the MLB Players Association have discussed a plan to stage games in and around Phoenix in empty stadiums.

If things progress to a point at which teams could play in their home cities, the Nationals celebrating a World Series victory without fans in attendance would undoubtedly feel deflating. The wait will be worth it to raise the banner in style.