For the third time since the Padres came into existence in 1969, San Diego will host Major League Baseball’s (MLB) annual All-Star Game this year.
On July 12, Petco Park and the city at large will be in the spotlight as FOX televises the 87th Midsummer Classic, which pits all-stars from the National League (NL, the Padres’ and Dodgers’ league) against their counterparts from the American League (AL, the Angels’ league). The winning league earns home-field advantage for its representative in the World Series in October.
The All-Star Game, first played in 1933 (the NL has won 43 times to the AL’s 41; they tied twice; no game was played in 1945), is the crown jewel of a five-day fanfare that will rock Downtown with baseball attractions, concerts and other special events July 8 to 12. MLB All-Star Fanfest, to be headquartered at San Diego Convention Center, will offer player appearances, interactive exhibits and memorabilia.
“Whenever we’re hosting in a city with personality, we always try to pick up different elements that make the city shine,” says Marla Milller, MLB senior vice president, Special Events.
Among the events with distinctive San Diego flavor are Soul Pose MLB All-Star Yoga (July 9 at 8 and 11 a.m. at Waterfront Park); The Color Run MLB All-Star 5K (July 10 at 7 a.m.), which starts Downtown, loops around the waterfront and ends at Waterfront Park; and Play Ball Park for youth leagues (July 7 to 12, across from the Hilton Bayfront).
“We do a lot of youth-development activities in any host market that is hosting All-Star Week, but we’ve never built anything like Play Ball Park before,” says Miller.
Three concerts (limited free tickets are available to the public) are slated for Embarcadero Marina Park South on Friday night (July 8) and Saturday afternoon and evening (July 9).
“Each of the concerts themselves will draw in a different audience and have a Southern Cal flavor,” Miller says.
Petco Park will be the site of the popular Legends Celebrity Softball Game (July 10), All-Star Workout Day and Home Run Derby (July 11).
On July 12, continuing a stellar All-Star Game tradition that began 11 years ago, All-Stars (chosen by fan balloting since 1970) will ride in Chevrolets along a red carpet route through the Gaslamp and into Petco Park.
Whoever wins after the stars take the field, this one’s shaping up to be a homerun for San Diego: mlb.com/all-star-game.