LOS ANGELES, CA — Forty-two years ago was the last time Dodger Stadium hosted a Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star game, and this July the star-studded affair will turn up another notch. The number 42 is a significant number not only to the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, but also MLB as the league will celebrate the life and legacy of Jackie Robinson and the 75th anniversary of him breaking the baseball color barrier during All-Star week.
The festivities include the Red Carpet event, Home Run Derby, and of course the 92nd All-Star game.
The announcement was made on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium alongside Dodgers President Stan Kasten, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, MLB Chief Operations & Strategy Officer Chris Marinak, and several Dodger players including Mookie Betts, Clayton Kershaw, Freddie Freeman and Walker Buehler to name a few.
With several events taking place in the locations previously mentioned, the communities that can’t be overshadowed are those in the Black and Latino communities around the Los Angeles area during All-Star week.
“We have an MLB Youth Academy in Compton that will have a whole host of programming, in terms of instructional academy as well as play,” Marinak said. “We’re in the process of finalizing our community engagement activities where we are going to be building fields, we are to be doing ‘Play Ball‘ events (and we’re going to be engaging with those communities. You’re going to see local teams compete at ‘Play Ball” Park and just getting an opportunity to participate in All-Star Week.”
Play Ball Park will be the world’s biggest baseball festival – inside the Los Angeles Convention Center and through L.A. Live. A huge fan-focused event that brings together music, baseball, technology with various MLB celebrities. A grand opportunity for MLB to blend the culture and grow the sport of baseball amongst the youth from various urban communities.
MLB will also host a celebrity All-Star softball game and SIRIUSXM Futures Game at Dodger Stadium followed by an exclusive concert on Saturday night. With many players and fans calling for the league to incorporate more of the culture into their standard operations moving forward. Though the concert may not top what millions witnessed earlier in the year at Super Bowl LVI with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg as the headliners, however MLB can come very close.
“We are absolutely focused on latin, hip hop, pop that type of genre, we don’t know exactly who we are going to get yet,” Marinak said. “Because coming out of the pandemic it happened to be the biggest touring year for the concert acts so we’re seeing who’s available. But this is absolutely focused on more multicultural and engaging younger fans and creating a cultural activation that really showcases the sport.”
A premiere time for baseball to showcase this game to a new audience and a start enticing young players to get more involved with the sport.
Beyond the economic effect that the MLB All-Star week will bring to the City of Angels, the league has grounds to make a lasting perception of community care that goes beyond the game. And in return, the rediscovery of the love of the game that could emerge in many neighborhoods that felt forgotten in times prior.
With five days of festivities in Los Angeles, MLB will have to come close to what the NFL did with Super Bowl LVI to make a strong impact on its players and fans across the nation. For five days all of the baseball world will be focused on the iconic Dodger Stadium and Los Angeles, where stars are made.
*Tickets for the indoor portion of Play Ball Park can be purchased at AllStarGame.com
The MLBbros were out in full force in Colorado this week and we got a chance to speak with the best Black and Brown players in MLB. Yankees slugger Aaron Judge describes why the All-Star Game still gives him thrills.
With the All-Star break here, we have officially hit the halfway point of the season; meaning that the playoff race is getting ready to commence.
Here are four MLBbros who need to step up and improve their play in the second half of the season (post-All-Star Game), in order to help their respective teams reach the promised land.
1. Mookie Betts
Mookie Betts and his Los Angeles Dodgers are in the midst of one of the toughest division races in the history of baseball. The National League West is home to the three best records in the National League and whichever two teams do not win the pennant will have to face off in a one-game playoff ( where anything can happen).
Friendly reminder that even in his “down year” Mookie Betts is still having a career-year for most players pic.twitter.com/5EydO4i8Hn
Betts played well enough to be voted on as an All-Star this season, but we have not seen the usual MVP-type numbers for him. His average sits at .249 with 37 RBI and 12 home runs. Despite that, he is still doing a good job with getting on base as he is fourth for all Right Fielders in walks and has a .819 OPS.
After hitting a grand slam in the Dodgers 22-run performance Saturday night and then following that with a home run Sunday, Betts may be a step ahead of us as he is already heating up right before our eyes.
Betts was slated to be the only MLBbro on the National League All-Star team, but he will be skipping out on the game in order to have his body ready for the stretch run.
"I think we all know the goal is to win a World Series, and I think this break will definitely help me to help us get to that point.” @mookiebetts on skipping out on the ASG. pic.twitter.com/LMJdK2Je0u
Whenever we get back to playing baseball next weekend, Josh Bell and the Washington Nationals are going to immediately be in must-win mode in order to determine whether they will be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline.
Bell has been better during the month of July. He is hitting .314 with three doubles and five RBI, which have all come within his last seven games. Since May 13, he has hit nine home runs and driven in 32 runs.
The Nationals have been dealing with injuries throughout this entire season, mostly coming in their pitching staff but recently those problems have spread to the lineup so Bell will need to be a constant force as they trail the Mets in the standings by five and a half games.
Jackie Bradley Jr. has always been without question one of the best defensive outfielders in the game but his hitting has been lacking this season, and he will need to turn it around quickly to secure a spot in the Brewers’ lineup.
Bradley only has two hits in his last 25 at-bats and is only batting .167 for the season with a .252 on base percentage. That will not get it done in the playoffs! Especially for a Brewers team that has one of the best starting rotations in baseball yet sits 29th in total batting average as a team.
The Brewers have a trio of MLBbro outfielders including Lorenzo Cain who recently began a rehab assignment and Tyrone Taylor who recently snapped his streak of 20 games without a home run. One of those three is likely to be the odd man out whenever Cain returns to their squad.
Garrett blew a few saves and even blew a gasket in a game against the Cubs that led him to be suspended, but over the last three weeks, he has righted the ship and been one of the better relievers in the Majors.
He has not given up a run since June 17, and has struck out 12 batters and walked only four during that span.
The Reds have the best chance to catch the Brewers for the National League Central crown, but if they cannot close out games and hold leads there is no way they will hoist the World Series trophy this Fall.