The Cleveland Indians Should Host the Next All-Star Game

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Apr 29, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez (31) pitches during the seventh inning against the Chicago White Sox at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Fans are not allowed to attend the game due to the current state of unrest in Baltimore. Baltimore Orioles defeated Chicago White Sox 8-2. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Is There a More Deserving American League City?

Another thing going in the Tribe’s favor is the fact that the American League doesn’t have many parks left that haven’t hosted a game.  In fact, the only two ballparks in the American League that haven’t hosted an All-Star game are Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) and New Yankee Stadium in New York.  Tropicana Field and the Rays are a hot topic these days, but not for hosting an All-Star game. The Rays want out of the stadium and St. Petersburg but politics and a stadium lease among other things are preventing anything here.  Needless to say, Major League Baseball doesn’t seem too interested in anything to do with Tropicana Field, so hoping for an All-Star game there any time soon is probably a waste of time.

New Yankee Stadium definitely is deserving of an All-Star game. Doesn’t hurt that getting a game in a big market is good for business. However, the Yankees just hosted the 2008 All-Star Game, would MLB really give them another one within a decade?  I wouldn’t rule it out since it is New York but they may have to wait a while.  So who does that leave other than Cleveland to host the next All-Star game in the AL?

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Well Baltimore is the first team that comes to mind.  Camden Yards is still one of the best parks in baseball and as mentioned before is the park that started the recent retro trend of ballparks. They also have gone even longer than Cleveland without the game, last hosting back in 1993.  However, Baltimore and Major League Baseball are also butting heads over television rights with the Washington Nationals. This is stemming from a decision under Bud Selig that was a compromise to allowing the Montreal Expos to move to Washington (Orioles fought the move for years if you recall).  Needless to say, baseball doesn’t seem too inclined to do the Orioles any favors at the moment, so they are likely out the outside looking in.

Toronto hasn’t hosted an All-Star game since 1990.  Back then SkyDome was a modern marvel with baseball’s first retractable roof stadium.  However, now it remains one of just two parks to have Astroturf instead of a natural grass playing field.  This likely won’t rule out the Blue Jays but given all the new retractable roof stadiums in baseball that do have natural grass (Milwaukee, Arizona, Seattle, Houston), it’s not the type of stadium that baseball is likely looking to promote.

The Rangers have gone slightly longer than the Indians since they last hosted the All-Star game. Their stadium opened in 1994, same as Progressive Field, but they got the 1995 All-Star game.  One could argue Texas should get it since it’s been longer but their stadium, while not bad, hasn’t seen the kind of update Progressive Field has.

The only other American League team that’s gone longer at the moment is the Oakland Athletics. They haven’t hosted the game since 1987.  However, like Tampa Bay they are locked in a battle with the city of Oakland (and San Jose) over their current stadium. Baseball has been working to try and get the A’s out of Oakland and into San Jose but to no avail. It’d be a shock if baseball would decide to give the A’s and the city of Oakland the All-Star game until they get that situation sorted out.

So at the end of the day, the best choice for the next All-Star game host is the city of Cleveland and the Indians franchise.  It’s been nearly 20 years, they have a newly renovated park.

Next: But MLB Has Already Announced the Next All-Star Host