Nation’s Capital Host Its Fifth Midsummer Classic, First Since 1969
Posted by Ray Gruenfelder
Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. has awarded the 2018 All-Star Game to the Washington Nationals, he announced today at a press conference during Opening Day festivities before the Club’s game against the New York Mets.
Washington, DC will host its fifth All-Star Game ever when Baseball’s 89th Midsummer Classic is played at Nationals Park. This will mark the first time that the Nationals, who returned Major League Baseball to the District in 2005, will host the event. Nationals Park will join Griffith Stadium (1937, 1956) and RFK Stadium (first ASG of 1962, when it was known as District of Columbia Stadium, and 1969).
Commissioner Manfred said: “I am pleased that the Nationals will have the opportunity to host the Midsummer Classic for the first time since Major League Baseball returned to our nation’s capital in 2005. The best sporting event of the summer, which will be held one decade after the opening of Nationals Park, will add a new chapter to the long and distinguished baseball tradition in Washington, DC.”
Washington Nationals Managing Principal Owner Theodore N. Lerner said: “On behalf of the entire Washington Nationals organization, we are incredibly honored to have been selected to host the 2018 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. As the stewards of the national pastime in the nation’s capital, hosting this event has been a goal of ours from the beginning. I want to thank Commissioners Selig and Manfred and the many people who put in countless hours to make this happen. We’re confident that under Mayor Bowser’s leadership, the city will be a superb host for All-Star Week and we look forward to welcoming baseball fans from around the world to beautiful Nationals Park.”
Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser said: “Hosting the 2018 MLB All-Star Game at Nationals Park is a home run for residents as baseball fans from around the country and world turn their attention to DC. We are the Sports Capital with a rich heritage and great pride in our amateur and professional sports. DC is not just a political town that hosts Presidential inaugurations and heads of state; we are a great sports town, too. I am proud of the work of the Washington Nationals organization both on and off the field.”
The Nationals will follow this year’s Midsummer Classic hosts, the Cincinnati Reds; the 2016 hosts, the San Diego Padres; and the 2017 hosts, the Miami Marlins. All four All-Star Game ballparks from 2015-2018 will welcome the Midsummer Classic for the first time. As previously announced, Major League Baseball has received a number of outstanding bids from National League Clubs whose ballparks have never hosted the All-Star Game. Thus, it was determined that the 2018 site would be awarded to the Club that made the most competitive bid, regardless of league affiliation.
The last time that the same League hosted the All-Star Game in two consecutive years was in 2006-2007, when Pittsburgh and San Francisco of the N.L. hosted the event, respectively. Given that four consecutive National League ballparks are now scheduled to host the All-Star Game from 2015-2018, MLB has decided that sides will continue to alternate who bats last. Thus, as will be the case in San Diego in 2016, the American League All-Stars will bat last in the 2018 All-Star Game in Washington. Since 2010, the designated hitter has been in effect for both sides, regardless of venue.
The Reds will stage Baseball’s 86th Midsummer Classic on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 at Great American Ball Park, which opened in 2003. This will be the fifth time that the City of Cincinnati will host the All-Star Game. The 2016 All-Star Game, scheduled for Tuesday, July 12, 2016, will be the third time that the Padres have ever hosted the event and the first for Petco Park, which opened in 2004. The 2017 Midsummer Classic is slated for Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at Marlins Park in Miami, marking the first time that the Marlins have hosted the event in their franchise history.