While it had been clear for multiple weeks Opening Day of the 2020 Major League Baseball would not be held on its original date, Thursday passing without any games brought about a wave of emotions for players and fans alike.
Clayton Kershaw, who was scheduled to make his ninth Opening Day start for the Los Angeles Dodgers on March 26, acknowledged the reality of the season being delayed set in last week. Along with highlighting the greater importance and implications the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has on society, Kershaw said players face a strange feeling with their routines and expectations being upended.
SportsNet LA, MLB Network and the Dodgers each re-aired or streamed previous Opening Day games. It led to several players sharing messages on social media about longing to be at Dodger Stadium rather than watching a replay.
Justin Turner took matters a step further by providing fans with an opportunity to win one of his bats by completing a ‘#JTOpeningDayChallenge.’
🚨Opening Day Challenge🚨
— Justin Turner (@redturn2) March 27, 2020
Turner previously connected with fans through a recorded message that assured them players were eager to begin the 2020 season and disappointed they weren’t going to do so on March 26.
The coronavirus has of course impacted matters well beyond baseball, and Turner has done his part to provide for those in need. Along with his wife Kourtney, the Justin Turner Foundation continues to purchase food from local establishments to ensure The Dream Center has enough daily meals for LAUSD students and others.
Justin and Kourtney regularly carry out initiatives with the L.A. Dream Center and are revered in the community for that work as much as they are for the former’s impact on the field.
If and when the 2020 season begins, it will mark Turner’s seventh with the Dodgers. He’s due to become a free agent this winter but last month dismissed the idea that was on his mind. “I’m not worried about that,” Turner said.
“I’m here to win a championship and whatever happens after that, we’ll see. It’s something that I try not to focus on or think about.”
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