The Washington Nationals have decided to wait until the entire team is reunited to receive its 2019 World Series rings, scuttling plans for a virtual ceremony the club had been planning.
When presented with the idea for the ceremony, Nationals players collectively decided they would rather postpone the event until everyone could celebrate together. The team announced the decision Saturday, only hours before the event was set to take place.
Originally, the team was set to receive its rings on the field at Nationals Park ahead of the second game of the season. When the coronavirus pandemic put baseball on hold, the team looked for an innovative alternative, settling on the virtual ceremony.
Per the Nats' statement:
"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 24 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."
The broadcast will still take place at 7:00 p.m. ET on the team's YouTube channel, but instead of presenting players with the rings, the Nats will debut a documentary about the team's run to its first World Series title in franchise history alongside an unveiling of the ring design.
Players Ryan Zimmerman, Howie Kendrick and Max Scherzer will join in live to give their reactions.
There will also be a fundraiser for the team's foundation, Nats4Good.