Tampa Bay Rays celebrate after defeating the Oakland Athletics 5-1 after an American League wild-card baseball game Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Thanksgiving Means Turkey, Stuffing and…the World Series?

Yes, you read that headline correctly. It’s just as weird of a concept to the person who penned it.

Before 2001, the idea of November baseball was unheard of. It has never happened, and the first time it did, it wasn’t supposed to happen either. Following the Sept. 11 attacks, Major League Baseball pushed back the season 10 days. During Game 4 of the 2001 World Series, baseball entered a new era.

Since then, November baseball became more frequent in the 2010s. But, Game 7 on Nov. 4, 2001 remains the latest a World Series game has ever been played. That might change this year.

Sports World On Hold

In a 24-hour period between March 11-12, MLB, the NBA and the NHL suspended operation due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19. Other leagues or events were postponed or canceled as well.

Completing these seasons, even with shortened schedules, would require playing games on dates much later than usual. Baseball has kept this in mind.

On March 26, an agreement was reached between MLB and the MLBPA to decide the future. Within the agreement, there’s a commitment to play as many games in 2020 as possible. The deal allows for regular-season games in October and the postseason to be played in November.

What Does This Entail?

Playing the regular season in October opens up room for an extra 25-29 games to be played. If the season begins on the first Thursday in June (and that might be generous), the season could have between 124-128 games played without any doubleheaders with October games.  An all-star break is factored into this.

If the current playoff format is used, the World Series would start the same week as Thanksgiving. This would be the latest start to the World Series by a matter of weeks. Normally, Thursday is normally an off day. Fox, which has the rights to the World Series through 2028, might want to cash in on this opportunity.

Fox is set to broadcast the Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving game as well, but this could be worked out to make it works on TV. Perhaps the Cowboys game airs at 4:20 p.m. and the World Series airs at 8 p.m.

We Know, It Feels Like A Long Time From Now

For now, the ballparks remain empty as the world attempts to flatten the curve and make going to games safe again. But, come the holiday season, there’s a chance you’ll be sitting out the couch stuffed with Turkey watch your team in the World Series.

About Harrison Smajovits

Harrison is a sports coordinator at ESPN 98.1 FM/850 AM WRUF. He served as a beat writer for Florida Gators football for the 2019 and 2020 seasons. He also contributes to WRUF's Gainesville Sports Center segments and makes appearances on the Clash on Harp on Sports. Harrison has been a content writer for WRUF since January 2019 as well.

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