MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced today that the 2018 All-Star Game will be held in Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.
With today’s announcement it means that a National League city will host the mid-summer classic for four consecutive seasons beginning this year at Cincinnati’s Great American Ballpark. In 2016, it will be held at Petco Park in San Diego followed by Marlins Park in Miami in 2017. If the 2019 All-Star Game is awarded to an AL city it would mean 5 years will have passed since the All-Star Game was held at Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins.
Traditionally, the site of the All-Star Game alternated each year between an AL and NL park. There have been exceptions. In 1950 & 1951, it was held in two AL cities at Chicago’s Comiskey Park and Detroit’s Briggs Stadium (later renamed Tiger Stadium). But this would be balanced out in 1952 and 1953 when it was held at Shibe Park and Crosley Field, the homes of the Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds, respectively.
Then there was the brief period between 1959 and 1962 when two All-Star games were held per season. In ’59, the games were held at two NL parks (Pittsburgh’s Forbes Field and the Los Angeles Coliseum) while in ’60 it was held at two AL parks (Kansas City’s Municipal Stadium and Yankees Stadium). In ’61 & ’62, the games were split between AL & NL parks.
The game would then alternate between the two leagues until 2006-07 when it was held at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park and San Francisco’s AT & T Park.
But this is a bit much. I’ve got nothing against these parks getting the All-Star Game, but I just don’t like seeing AL parks getting the shaft. When 2019 rolls around, it will have been 32 years since Oakland last hosted the All-Star Game and more than a quarter century will have passed since the Rogers Centre in Toronto or Baltimore’s Camden Yards hosted the game. Then there’s Tropicana Field, the home of the Tampa Bay Rays. It has never hosted the All-Star Game. I grant you the Trop is an ugly ballpark and I’m sure MLB doesn’t want it shown for such a spectacle. On top of that, it is difficult to access. Nevertheless, as long as St. Pete has a big league club, it should get a chance to host the All-Star Game.
I’m sure our resident Rays fan Larry Thornberry has some thoughts about it.