World Series spotlight on heroes, voting

October 21st, 2020

Major League Baseball has devoted much of its pregame pageantry at the World Series to honoring real-life heroes who have helped navigate the country through a trying year. As Game 1 of the Fall Classic between the Dodgers and Rays commenced Tuesday night at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, healthcare workers from nearby regions were recognized on the field with ceremonial first pitch honors.

Four individuals participated in the Game 1 first pitch ceremony:

• Jamie Edens and Ryan Ward, a married couple who resigned from their nursing jobs in Tulsa, Okla., and drove to New York to help on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the end of July, they drove to Texas to do the same for COVID-19 patients in that area.
• Erika Combs, an oncology and kidney transplant nurse at a Dallas hospital, who voluntarily switched units to serve in the COVID-19 unit for more than a month.
• Brittney Burns, a nurse practitioner who left her home in San Antonio to work in New York at the onset of the pandemic. After 101 days there, she came back to her hometown, where she aided patients for another 100 days.

Additionally, through the first four games of the World Series, MLB will recognize Military Heroes of the Game, each of whom has been provided game tickets. The hero for Game 1 is Jake Anderton, a hospital corpsman petty officer 1st class in the U.S. Navy Reserve. He recently was deployed to New York to provide medical support, primarily working at the Javits Center.

Game 2 will honor Capt. Scott Lucado and Command Sgt. Maj. Scott McLaughlin. Lucado has more than eight years of service in the U.S. Army, including a combat tour in Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. McLaughlin has served more than 25 years in the U.S. Army with five combat tours -- three in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and two in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Other pregame activities include the traditional “play ball!” declaration that will run on the video board at Globe Life Field. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott had the honors for Game 1, while various community groups and frontline heroes in the Tampa Bay and Los Angeles communities will start every other World Series game with “play ball!” in prerecorded videos. The groups on the Rays’ side are BayCare Health System, Clearwater Police Department, Feeding Tampa Bay and Academy Prep St. Petersburg. On the Dodgers’ side are UCLA Health and Solano Avenue Elementary School.

MLB will be highlighting the importance of voting throughout the postseason and placing signage of its voting education/resource website in Globe Life Field. Fixed signage will be visible down the first-base line, and there will be on LED video board with voting messaging.

The annual World Series Stand Up To Cancer Moment will take place in the fifth inning of Game 3. FOX will broadcast live as players, coaches and umpires join baseball fans everywhere to pay tribute to those in the fight, to remember those lost and to honor those who have overcome this disease by holding up special placards in a united stand to defeat cancer.

Environmental stewardship also will be on display during the Fall Classic:

• MLB is diverting PPE from landfills through TerraCycle, which takes hard-to-recycle items, such as disposable masks and gloves, and turns them into new products 
• Bonneville Environmental Foundation, which offsets emissions at the ballpark and travel between series
• FloWater touchless water filtration systems and MLB Green water bottles to reduce single-use plastics
• Paperless tickets
• Several new ballpark features, including LED field lights, synthetic playing surface that requires very little water and motion sensor light switches that automatically shut lights off in areas where no one is present

The Rangers and MLB are also working with KultureCity to provide mobile sensory pods for the World Series. KultureCity is giving away 100 sensory bags over the course of the Series. They include items such as headphones and fidgets that can help lessen sensory overload. Globe Life Field also has its own sensory room at the southwest entry.

Another feature of this unique Fall Classic is the postseason cutout initiative. Among the groups represented are participants of MLB’s extensive baseball and softball development programs, including the Hank Aaron Invitational, the Breakthrough Series, DREAM Series, Trailblazer Series, RBI for RBI Scholars and teams from the 2019 RBI World Series Softball Championship.

Community sections will feature images of frontline healthcare workers from various hospital systems, military service members, COVID-19 essential workers, cancer survivors and cancer research scientists, and Boys & Girls Clubs of America youth.

Additionally, distinguished recipients of the Medal of Honor, our country’s highest award for valor in combat, are featured. The National Medal of Honor Museum, a home for America’s heroes, is set to open next door to Globe Life Field in 2024.

The 2021 USA Softball Olympic Team is also represented through MLB’s Postseason Cutout program. In advance of the team representing the United States at the Tokyo Games, MLB is serving as the presenting sponsor of the Stand Beside Her promotional tour.

On the celebrity front, several pop culture figures will have cutouts, including, among others, musical artist Justin Bieber, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski and K-pop band BTS.

Several promotional elements will appear during the World Series from many of MLB’s most prominent sponsors, including T-Mobile, Taco Bell (Steal a Base, Steal a Taco) and Budweiser.

Prior to World Series Game 2, Gary Brooks of Berwyn-Paoli, Pa., was presented with the 2020 Chevy Cares Award. Brooks is the coach of a youth baseball program that provides hundreds of kids with mental and physical disabilities the opportunity to play baseball. MLB saluted Brooks for his tireless efforts, and the selfless actions of the organizers, coaches and so many others during this challenging time. Brooks was surprised on a video call by players from his program, and he was gifted with an all-new 2021 Tahoe Z71 courtesy of Chevrolet. To learn more, please visit

T-Mobile announced it is increasing its previous commitment to Little League, now donating $10,000 per home run during the World Series to the Little League Call Up Grant Program.

For the first time, Taco Bell has invited fans to score their free taco within hours after the first stolen base during the World Series, via a code on the Taco Bell app, and to have their own unique redemption period.

There will still be free tacos available in-restaurant on Oct. 28 thanks to Mookie Betts. The Dodgers' right fielder stole second base in the bottom of the fifth inning, which delivered the annual Taco Bell “Steal a Base, Steal a Taco” deal, which meant free tacos for America. Visit

And Budweiser is hosting #HitTheBuds, a social sweepstakes and random drawing. Piles of Bud cases are placed in different sections of the outfield stands, and each time a home run ball hits the pile, one winner will be selected in a random drawing among all eligible entries. Each winner will receive two tickets to a 2021 Opening Week game and Budweiser for the season.

Fans are invited to enter on @budweiserusa Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtags #HitTheBuds and #Sweepstakes.