The Toronto Blue Jays last hosted the Mid-Summer Classic in 1991. With the Toronto Raptors hosting the NBA All-Star game this weekend I decided to look back on the Blue Jays ’91 All-Star Game.
The first All-Star game was played in 1933. The 2016 All-Star game will mark the 87th time the Mid-Summer classic has been played. If you do the math, 2016 minus 1933 equals 83 games, so why is the 2016 Mid-Summer Classic represent the 87th? Between 1959 and 1962, the league hosted two games during the 4 year period.
Having the American League’s best pitchers face off against the National League’s best hitters makes the MLB All-Star game better than any other North American All-Star game. MLB All-Stars don’t play the game at half speed, they may not go all out like Pete Rose on Ray Fosse in the 1970 Mid-Summer Classic that left Fosse with a separated shoulder, but they don’t play zero defense like in the NBA or NFL. It’s the kind of effort that makes the MLB talent show a must see.
So when would Toronto be able to host the Mid-Summer Classic next?
Considering that Toronto was not picked to host the next two All-Star games, Petco Park in San Diego in 2016 and at Marlins Park in Miami in 2017, the earliest that Toronto would be considered is 2018. If that were the case then 26-years would have pasted between All-Star games. There’s been no indication that Toronto will receive any consideration for the 2018 All-Star game, only to say that 2018 would be the earliest.
The last time the All-Star game was held in Toronto, Jimmy Key was the winning pitcher in a 4-2 American League win over Dennis Martinez and the National League. Dennis Eckersley got the save, Andre Dawson and Cal Ripken hit home runs, with Ripken walking away with the MVP and Home Run Derby Winner. Toronto was represented by Roberto Alomar, Jimmy Key, and Joe Carter.
In the past, the criteria for selection a host for the Mid-Summer Classic had been 1. Host team has a new park the league wants to show case 2. It’s been a long time since the team last hosted, and 3. The league thought it would be a good idea to return to city X.
In February, 2015, the league announced that it plans on changing the selection process, adopting a more “competitive-bidding, Super Bowl-award-type mode“. In the referenced article, Former Commissioner Bud Selig stated that Major League Baseball will continue to award All-Star game to cities with new buildings which means that the Washington Nationals should get the 2018 All-Star game.
If this selection process were implemented for choosing the host of the 2019 All-Star game, would the new Blue Jays management be interested in hosting the game?
This Blue Jays fan say, “Hell, yes!”. Overhauling the Rogers Centre would allow them to compete with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs for the All-Star game. Both the Dodgers and Cubs have both recently renovated their stadiums. Please do not comment about how the Roger Centre will have a dirt infield in 2016 as a renovation.
The revenue used to upgrade the concrete bowl with a retractable lid would easily be recovered by hosting the All-Star game, renewed interested in the team after making the playoffs for the first time in 20+ years and allure of show’s new at the Rogers Centre.
As a fan base let it be known that we support the Blue Jays pursuing the organization’s 2nd All-Star game in 2019. Even if Toronto doesn’t get the All-Star game prior to 2020, a massive renovation of the Roger Centre is needed to attract the new engaged Blue Jay fans, because grey concrete just won’t do it anymore and why would Major League Baseball want to showcase a temperamental 30-year-old sometimes retractable roof?
*Featured Image Credit: freaktography UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0
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Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.