Catcher Austin Barnes admitted to being overcome with emotion after the victory, which came in the Dodgers’ third World Series appearance in four years, having lost to Houston Astros in 2017 and Boston Red Sox in 2018.
“This is surreal,” said Barnes. “We’ve had our hearts broken so many times and this group has worked so hard. There’s a ton of emotion.”
Around 11,000 fans attended the 48,000-capacity Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, as the World Series was held at a neutral venue for the first time.
Corey Seager, who was later named the series’ Most Valuable Player, gave the Dodgers the lead over the Rays - who were chasing their first World Series title - and Mookie Betts hit a home run in the eighth inning to seal victory.
THE LOS ANGELES DODGERS ARE WORLD CHAMPIONS. pic.twitter.com/rlvVkSwXhp
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers)
This was the Dodgers’ seventh title, but first since 1988, a frustrating drought for a proud club and city.
The Dodgers’ task was complicated when their star third baseman Justin Turner received news of a positive coronavirus test — Major League Baseball’s first in 59 days and the first since the regular season ended.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said the positive test meant it was a “bittersweet” end to the season.
Turner was removed from the game and did not initially join the celebrations when victory was secured. But around an hour after the game, he joined his team-mates, hugging colleague Clayton Kershaw and joining a team photo, sitting next to manager Dave Roberts with his mask pulled down.
“Thanks to everyone reaching out!” Turner wrote on Twitter. “I feel great, no symptoms at all. Just experienced every emotion you can possibly imagine. Can’t believe I couldn’t be out there to celebrate with my guys! So proud of this team and unbelievably happy for the city of LA.”
Thanks to everyone reaching out! I feel great, no symptoms at all. Just experienced every emotion you can possibly imagine. Can’t believe I couldn’t be out there to celebrate with my guys! So proud of this team & unbelievably happy for the City of LA#WorldSeriesChamps
— Justin Turner (@redturn2)
Dodgers president of operations, Andrew Friedman, admitted that Turner’s positive test “was a really unfortunate end-point of this incredible series and definitely affected some of the joy of winning, just because of what JT has meant to us”.
Friedman said Turner joined the photos because he had already been in contact with his team-mates and the Dodgers would take another round of tests before leaving Texas.