An Open Letter from Commissioner of Baseball Rob Manfred

October 20th, 2020

Dear Fans:

As we are set to begin the 116th World Series tonight, I want to thank you, the fans, for your loyal support this season, which has sustained us at every turn. Thank you for embracing the unprecedented changes we made to our schedule and rules, which combined to help protect the health of our players and make our season possible. On the field, we witnessed the emergence of new stars and the birth of new rivalries. Throughout all of the changes and, despite not being able to host you at our ballparks, we saw your passion in the other ways you engaged with the sport and our players.

The global pandemic that began during Spring Training – at the outset of the 2020 season – has been a challenge for everyone. I want to express MLB’s deep gratitude to all those whose efforts made it possible to stage responsibly a highly competitive and entertaining baseball season. First and foremost, I applaud Major League players for their commitment to making the necessary adjustments to their normal routines and for playing at such a high level under these challenging circumstances. Without their active participation and ongoing diligence to health and safety related issues, this season would not have been possible. 

In addition, thanks to umpires, club staff and the superb medical experts we relied upon for their guidance. The collective dedication allowed the game to return to the ballparks in our home communities, while hopefully setting a positive, highly visual example of Americans returning to work. I also recognize all the sacrifices made by players, staff and their families required by operating the bulk of the Postseason in secure zones at neutral site locations away from home. And thank you to our partners, who adjusted to the frequently changing circumstances with support and continued encouragement as we delivered the game in more unique and exciting ways.

Baseball has historically played a meaningful role in helping our country recover from national emergencies. One of our goals for this season was to provide entertainment that lifted people’s spirits. As the Rays and Dodgers tonight begin what promises to be an exciting World Series, we hope we have accomplished that.

Thank you for being such great fans and please continue to stay safe and healthy.