Expect a lot of Pete Rose talk, Ken Griffey Jr. love and an epic Home Run Derby in 2015, when Major League Baseball plans All-Star Game festivities for the Queen City of Cincinnati. Reporter John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer has the scoop, reporting that commissioner Bud Selig will make a formal announcement Wednesday.
It's been 25 years since the Cincinnati Reds hosted an All-Star Game, and that was at the donut-shaped Riverfront Stadium. In 1988, the AL won a pitchers' duel 2-1, with Terry Steinbach taking home MVP honors thanks to a solo home run against Dwight Gooden. And it didn't even win home-field advantage for the Oakland Athletics in the World Series. We just weren't savvy enough in those pre-Selig-as-commish days.
Nor did we have Great American Ball Park.
With its home-run friendly environment, and the Ohio River beckoning beyond the right-field grandstand, left-handed pull hitters will be aiming for water like they did the B&O Warehouse at Camden Yards in 1993.
And we'll have the sidebars of Rose and Griffey, both beloved sons of Cincy in their own respective ways. Rose, of course, was banned from the sport after some infamous gambling behavior when he was Reds manager. But MLB let him be a part of the All-Century Team celebration in 2000 at Turner Field in Atlanta. You'd figure Charlie Hustle will be part of the 2015 All-Star Game too, regardless of him being officially reinstated or not. He'll be 73 years old. Perhaps as part of his penance, Pete can give reporter Hal McCoy a ride to the park.
The Washington Nationals and Miami Marlins were hoping to get the All-Star Game in '15, but probably have to wait until 2017 at the earliest. The Nats lost out, the speculation goes, because the area around Nationals Park is underdeveloped.
New York's Citi Field hosts this season and, in 2014, Minnesota's Target Field gets the honors. Another AL team would take its turn in 2016, though that's the 100th anniversary of the Cubs playing in Wrigley Field which, Cubs ownership hopes, will have been renovated by then. (Hint, hint.)