Before going head-to-head, the two teams came together to cheer for essential workers

By Maria Pasquini
August 01, 2020 05:15 PM
Advertisement
Members of the New York Yankees
New York Yankees/Twitter

Historic rivals, the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, came together on Friday night to honor coronavirus frontline heroes.

Before going head-to-head for the first time in the shortened 2020 season, both teams took a moment to pay tribute to essential workers.

Ahead of the first pitch, the Yankees and the Red Sox honored a group of 11 health care workers — a nod to the number of players in a lineup — who were invited to Yankee Stadium to take part in the tribute.

In keeping with the way many New Yorkers have been cheering on essential workers for months, the players, who mostly all wore masks, beat on pots and pans as the group made their way onto the field, ending with Yankees' internist Dr. Paul Lee.

Another special moment of the night, which marked the Yankees' first at-home game of the season, came as longtime broadcaster Suzyn Waldman, who is the first and only woman to hold a full-time analyst job in the MLB, sang the national anthem.

Singing from the broadcast booth, Waldman's performance was the fulfillment of a promise she made to new Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole years earlier, telling him that if he ever signed with the Yankees, she’d sing before the team's home opener.

The Yankees went on to win the game 5-1.

The shortened 2020 baseball season kicked off last month on July 23 — although a rise in coronavirus infections has already impacted a number of teams.

The MLB suspended the Miami Marlins' season through this weekend after the Florida-based team reported over a dozen positive cases. According to test results released by MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association, 21 members of the organization have tested positive over the past week, ESPN reported.

"Given the current circumstances, MLB believes that it is most prudent to allow the Marlins time to focus on providing care for their players and planning their baseball operations for a resumption early next week," the press release said.

On Friday, it was also announced that the evening’s game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers had been postponed, after two Cardinals players tested positive. “The team is currently conducting rapid testing of the entire traveling party, has implemented contact tracing, and will continue to self-isolate,” the team said in a statement.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.