Dodgers News: Corey Seager Valued Cardboard Fans At Dodger Stadium

The ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic drastically altered the makeup of the 2020 MLB season. One of the most notable changes was that fans were not allowed to attend games until the National League Championship Series, which was played in a Texas bubble.

The absence of fans during the regular season and parts of the playoffs took some time to get used to. The Los Angeles Dodgers attempted to fill the void by piping in artificial crowd noise over the Dodger Stadium speakers.

The club also gave fans the opportunity to purchase a cardboard cutout version of themselves, which were then placed throughout the ballpark.

During an appearance on “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon, Corey Seager explained that he found the cardboard cutouts odd at first, but believes they helped create a semblance of normalcy:

“It was really weird and hard to get used to. Summer Camp helped a little bit. You’re kind of playing each other, it’s sort of similar to that. Without that crowd noise in Summer Camp, it was tough to get through. The cardboard cutouts actually helped way more than you’d think. It was crazy just how it broke up the monotony of the stadium. It was crazy. When they first started bringing them in, you’re like,’Ah, I don’t really know.’ But once you got into the game, got in the focus, the background changed and it took away the monotony of the stadium. It was actually pretty cool. … It’s really empty without those.”

As Seager noted, the fan cutouts helped bring Dodger Stadium to some sense of normalcy during games. While they didn’t compare to real fans, the presence of them evidently made players feel more comfortable.

While the Dodgers played out the majority of the 2020 season in empty stadiums, they also got to experience real fans returning to the stands during the playoffs, beginning with their NLCS showdown against the Atlanta Braves at Globe Life Field.

Fans were also permitted to attend World Series games, which took place at the same ballpark.

Kershaw doesn’t believe lack of fans made difference in determining intensity of series

While games played in front of a live audience typically give players more adrenaline, Clayton Kershaw doesn’t believe the lack of fans made a difference. “I’m tired of hearing that excuse. We’re not going to play with fans,” Kershaw said after a Dodgers’ loss to the Padres in September.

“They’re 1.5 (games) back now. These games matter. If you want to be the one seed, it matters. To say, ‘Hey, I can’t get up for games’ or ‘I’m losing adrenaline because there’s no fans,’ well, figure it out. I don’t want to hear that.”

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