LOS ANGELES (AP) — Justin Turner’s fond memories of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ championship last fall will always be weighted by slight disappointment in the weird way it all ended for him personally.
After receiving the ring symbolizing last season’s success Friday, Turner made sure his memories of this particular celebratory day will only be sweet.
Turner homered in the sixth inning, and the Dodgers celebrated their World Series ring ceremony day with a 1-0 victory over the Washington Nationals.
Turner received some of the fans’ loudest cheers in the pregame ceremony, befitting his status as a Southern California native beginning his eighth season with the club.
The redheaded Dodgers slugger was outstanding in the World Series last fall, only to get pulled in the eighth inning of Los Angeles’ clinching victory due to a positive COVID-19 test.
That memory still bothers him, so he made a new one.
“Today was a big day for me personally,” said Turner, who re-signed with Los Angeles in February. “I felt like it was the first real time I got to get out there on the line with my teammates and enjoy the championship and celebrate the ring. And especially to do it with fans in the stands made it even more special.”
Turner broke MLB’s health and safety protocols by returning to the field to celebrate after getting pulled from the clincher last fall, and he received criticism and eventually apologized for it. After an offseason without a parade or most of the usual spoils of victory, the 36-year-old veteran got emotional while receiving his first World Series ring — and a few hours better, punctuating the day with the decisive hit in a victory for 15,036 Dodgers fans.
“That’s why I kept my glasses on,” Turner said with a laugh. “I didn’t want to let anyone…