CHICAGO (CBS) — Major League Baseball is not mandating COVID-19 vaccines, but the White Sox have really embraced the opportunity.
General Manager Rick Hahn said more than 90 percent of the team and traveling party received their vaccines after the home opener last week.READ MORE: Secretary Of State's Office Unveils Pilot Program To Ease 'Heavy Customer Volume'
The Sox were administered the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
By having more than 85 percent of the group vaccinated, Major League Baseball then offers every qualifying team looser safety restrictions and protocols.
But the Sox were also looking at a much bigger picture, even outside of the clubhouse.READ MORE: 'It's Incredibly Contagious': The COVID Delta Variant Is Strong, Local Doctors Say A Vaccine Is The Best Defense
“It’s a great message to the community. We think it’s a great message to each other about being a good teammate. You know, there’s obviously individual benefits to anyone – players included, staff included – who gets vaccinated; even individual benefits under the protocols that we’re all working under at this point,” Hahn said. “But it goes beyond that. It goes beyond what it does for the individual and goes to protecting each other; protecting the community around us – and the level of buy-in that we had in our clubhouse I think was remarkable, and something that everyone down there should be very, very proud of.”
White Sox outfielder Danny Mendick was among those who received the vaccine.
“I did get vaccinated. You know, I’m doing it for the team. I’m doing it for my family. I’m doing it for everybody around me – trying to be as precautious as possible,” Mendick said. “You know, I think I can speak for the most of us that we want this to be gone, so yeah, you know what? I did it, and the next day I felt a little crummy, but we battled through it and we’re here now.”MORE NEWS: MISSING: Silver Alert Declared For Two Young Girls From Merrillville Believed To Be In 'Extreme Danger'
The Cubs had a scare with first-base coach Craig Driver testing positive for COVID-19. But he didn’t travel to Pittsburgh with the team, and so far, everyone else on the team has tested negative.