On Friday, Major League Baseball shocked most of the world by agreeing to mounting pressures to move the 2021 All-Star Game and First-Year Player’s Draft out of Atlanta, Georgia.
This move came in direct response to voter suppression laws passed in the state, something MLB has taken a strong stance against going back to last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests, releasing the following statement:
“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box. In 2020, MLB became the first professional sports league to join the non-partisan Civic Alliance to help build a future in which everyone participates in shaping the United States. We proudly used our platform to encourage baseball fans and communities throughout our country to perform their civic duty and actively participate in the voting process. Fair access to voting continues to have our game’s unwavering support.”
It is a bold move that breaks from MLB’s long-standing tradition of not wanting to ruffle too many feathers or make statements beyond the diamond but clearly the league and its members feel like this is a special circumstance.
The league has not yet announced where the game will be moved to but there are a handful of obvious candidates, including Coors Field in Denver, Colorado.
Currently, as we are still emerging fully from the COVID pandemic, there are only four MLB ballparks that are allowed at 40-percent capacity: Texas, Houston, Arizona, and Colorado.
There are a couple of big problems with the two Texas stadiums though.
First of all, though this could be rectified in the future, it would swing an imbalance toward the AL, as the game this year was set to take place in an NL park, under NL rules.
Furthermore, one has to wonder how well the message would be received if MLB is taking a hard stance about voter rights, then moves the Midsummer Classic to the home of voter suppression, a state with several similar laws to the Georgia one that started all this in the works.
Then there’s the fact that both Texas and Arizona still sit among the highest COVID rates in the nation and have some of the most relaxed laws. It may not be wise, if they wish to avoid a super spreader event, to take the game to either location.
The home of your Colorado Rockies has none of those problems however.
They keep the correct NL/AL balance. Colorado has been a leader throughout the pandemic and has the most inclusive voting model in the nation.
Additionally, it’s been since 1998 that the game came a mile high, and we are due.
And, as everyone knows, Denver is one of the most beautiful cities and one of the fastest growing cities in the country for a reason. A lot of them actually.
Plus, yes, it’s always fun to dream on Home-Run Derby’s and the game’s best power hitters showing off their skills at altitude.
Sure, it would feel a bit odd to “reward” Dick Monfort right now for the state of the team but even granting them an All-Star Game where they won’t be able to fill the entire stadium is a bit of a back-handed reward.
But Monfort’s mishandling of baseball and personnel decisions shouldn’t result in punishment for the entire community.
MLB has done the right thing… so far.
Moving the game to one of the two Texas stadiums would totally undercut their message, especially if they do so simply because they can have the most people.
Arizona would be acceptable but annoying. Who wants to hold the celebration of the return of the true game of baseball and a nation’s pastime in an ind0or mall park?
It’s time for the most beautiful game in the world to come back to the most beautiful ballpark in the world.
It’s time for the MLB All-Star Game to come to Coors Field in Denver, Colorado.