Major League baseball’s All-Star game will be played tonight at Kauffman Field in Kansas City, the second time it has hosted the game, the first since 1973.
Did you know that when the Mid-Summer Classic is played next year at Citi Field, the New York Mets will have have gone 49 years since the game was played in Flushing in 1964 the longest span for any major league team?
That’s still better than the Miami Marlins and the Tampa Bay Rays who have never been home to the All-Star game. Miami (then Florida) was slated to host the 2000 game, but it was switched to Atlanta.
Here are some other interesting facts and bits of information about the All-Star game, according to Wikipedia.com:
• The venue for each All-Star Game is chosen by a MLB selection committee.The chosen venue may be based on the opening of a new field, a historical occasion, or to commemorate a significant year.
• The first All-Star Game was held as part of the 1933 World's Fair in Chicago, Illinois, at Comiskey Park and was the brainchild of Arch Ward, then sports editor for The Chicago Tribune.] Initially intended to be a one-time event, its success resulted in the game becoming an annual one.
• An American League stadium is scheduled to host the all-star game in even-numbered years and a National League stadium in odd-numbered years.
• On April 28, 2010, MLB announced several rules changes for future All-Star Games, effective with the 2010 edition.
• Rosters were expanded by one extra position player, to a total of 34.
• The designated hitter is used in all games, even in National League ballparks.
• Pitchers who start on the Sunday before the All-Star break will be replaced on the roster, but will still be recognized as All-Stars.
• Each manager may designate a position player who will be eligible for game re-entry if the last position player is injured. This is in addition to a rule that allows a player to re-enter to replace an injured catcher.
• Each team must be represented by at least one player. If a team trades its lone All-Star before the game, its league's All-Star Game manager is not required to include another player from that team.
• In 1957, fans of the Cincinnati Reds stuffed the ballot box and elected even Reds players to start in the All-Star Game. An investigation showed that over half of the ballots cast came from Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Enquirer had printed up pre-marked ballots and distributed them with the Sunday newspaper to make it easy for Reds fans to vote often. There were even stories of bars in Cincinnati not serving alcohol to customers until they filled out a ballot.
• Of the eighteen players who started the 1934 game, only one, Wally Berger, is not in the Hall of Fame. Brooks Robinson (1966) and Carl Yastrzemski (1970) are the only players to be named All-Star MVP while playing for the losing team.
• In 1985, the American League started seven future Hall of Famers: Rickey Henderson (CF), George Brett (3B), Eddie Murray (1B), Cal Ripken (SS), Dave Winfield (RF), Jim Rice (LF), and Carlton Fisk (C). This is the most Hall of Famers ever in a starting lineup for an All-Star Game.
• In 2000, Derek Jeter became the first player to win All-Star Game MVP and World Series MVP in the same year.
• At Fenway Park in Boston on July 31, 1961, the first All-Star Game tie in history occurred when the game was stopped after the 9th inning due to rain. The only other rain-shortened game had been in 1952, but it had a winner.
• The 2002 All-Star Game, held in Milwaukee, ended in controversy in the 11th inning, when both teams ran out of substitute players available to pitch in relief. At that point, Commissioner Bud Selig (a Milwaukee native and former owner of the Brewers) declared the game to end after 11 innings.
• To provide additional incentive for victory, Major League Baseball reached an agreement with the players union to award home-field advantage for the World Series to the champion of the league that won the All-Star Game.
• The National League dominated from 1950 to 1987, winning 33 of 42 with 1 tie. This included a stretch from 1963 to 1982 when it won 19 of 20, including 11 in a row from 1972 to 1982.
• Since 1988 the American League has dominated, winning 18 of 23 with 1 tie, including a 13 game unbeaten streak (12-0-1) from 1997 to 2009.
• There were two All-Star Games played each season from 1959 to 1962. The second game was added to raise money for the players' pension funds, as well as other expenses.