DENVER (AP) – Major League Baseball plans to move the All-Star Game to Coors Field in Denver after pulling this year’s Midsummer Classic from Atlanta over objections to extensive changes in Georgia’s voting rights, according to a person familiar with the decision.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday night because MLB had not yet announced the move. The commissioner’s office was expected to declare Tuesday that the Colorado Rockies are hosting the game.
ESPN first reported the decision.
MLB withdrew the game on July 1
Georgia law includes new boundaries for postal voting and greater legislative control over how elections are held, amid a push in Republican-led states to reduce the options after former President Donald Trump made unfounded allegations of widespread fraud in last year’s election.
Colorado has a Democratic governor in Jared Polis and a democratically controlled legislature.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred made the decision to move the All-Star events and amateur draft from Atlanta after discussions with individual players and the Players Alliance, an organization of black players formed after George Floyd’s death last year, the commissioner said in a statement.
Kemp has vowed to defend the measure, and other Republicans have criticized MLB’s move. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott withdrew from throwing the first pitch at the Texas Rangers’ home opener on Monday, saying the state would not seek to host the All-Star Game or other special MLB events.
Coors Field last hosted the All-Star Game in 1998, the fourth season for the stadium and the sixth for the Rockies franchise.
It is uncertain what kind of seating capacity there may be due to COVID-19 restrictions. The Rockies had a seating capacity during their first home game against the World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers of 21,363 fans, which was 42.6% of the usual capacity. The seats were in pods, and standing seats were not available for fans to gather.
Players were also not allowed to sign autographs or throw baseball in the stands in accordance with MLB coronavirus protocols.
Nolan Arenado may be back with the “home team” – NL, not the Rockies.
Arenado was traded to St. Louis Cardinals in the low season after being unhindered over the front office over the team’s vision. Arenado is a five-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glove winner.
Arenado is still popular at Coors Field, where fans show up this weekend wearing his Rockies uniform and his Cardinals version. There will be a sneak peek at Arenado back at Coors Field when the Cardinals play in Mile High City from 1-4. July.
One thing is for sure: the Home Run Derby must be epic in height. Ken Griffey Jr. won it at Coors Field in 1998 by beating Jim Thome.
The last time the All-Star Game was in Denver, AL beat NL NL 13-8, with Bartolo Colon winning the victory and Ugueth Urbina taking the loss. There were 31 hits, but only three for homers. Barry Bonds teamed up with Alex Rodriguez and Roberto Alomar, Baltimore’s second baseman who was elected MVP.
Colorado was represented in the All-Star Game by Dante Bichette, Vinny Castilla, Larry Walker and coach Don Baylor.
And who knows? Maybe Bichette’s son, Bo, will make this year’s All-Star Game. Bo Bichette is a shortstop for Toronto.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports