Minutes after the Los Angeles Dodgers clinched their first World Series title since 1988 on Tuesday night, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said that Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner had tested positive for COVID-19.
During the game, MLB received Turner’s test results from Monday and then ran Tuesday’s sample to verify. The 35-year-old was removed from the game once the league had the result.
Turner was replaced at third base to begin the eighth inning and there had initially been no reason given. He was not on the field when the post-game celebrations ensued but later came out to join teammates. Turner lifted the trophy, hugged teammates and posed for photos, but didn’t keep a mask on the entire time.
“All I know is that I had to take him out of the game during the seventh inning, which was crazy,” manager Dave Roberts said of Turner. “I don’t know if it’s a false positive. He was in the team picture. I didn’t touch him just because I didn’t know, but it was really crazy.”
Said Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts: “(Turner’s) part of the team. Forget all that. He’s part of the team. We’re not excluding him from anything.”
Fox broke the news on the post-game show following the Dodgers 3-1 win in Game 6 at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas and Turner’s positive test was confirmed by Manfred.
“Obviously we’re concerned when any of our players test positive,” Manfred said. “We learned during the game. He was immediately isolated to prevent spread.”
Contract tracing was set to take place once the Dodgers returned to their hotel and the following morning, according to an official with knowledge of the situation.
The official spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation.
It was also immediately unclear when the Dodgers would be able to return to California, the official said.
Prior to his joining the celebrations, Turner tweeted that he felt “great” and had “no symptoms at all.”
MLB had not reported a positive test in 57 days, and there was a soft bubble in place for the World Series.
The league dealt with several outbreaks during the regular season, which shut down the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals for extended periods.