The Los Angeles Dodgers presented their preparations for hosting the MLB All-Star Game which will be held on July 19, marking the first time in 42 years that the team has served as host.
“No city and no city’s fans have supported their team like the Dodgers’ fans have,” Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten said. “They are hungry for this game and they are very excited that we are finally going to have it.”
Before the COVID-19 affected the calendar and forced the cancellation of the event, Dodger Stadium was set to host the game in 2020 and MLB decided to change the venue to Denver last year.
“I hope I make it,” said Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, an eight-time All-Star. “All the road teams that come in and get to play here, they say what a great place Dodger Stadium is. We’re excited to share it.”
“There’s a lot of opportunity that came from Jackie and all the other players that kind of came through,” Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts said.
Honoring legends, more details
The Dodgers will commemorate Jackie Robinson, who wore No. 42 when he broke baseball’s color barrier with the organization 75 years ago, in celebration of the 42 years since they hosted. Rachel Robinson, his widow, celebrates her 100th birthday on the day of the All-Star Game.
To prepare for the All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium, Play Ball Park will be set up at LA Live with baseball and softball, music, and a red carpet for players and families. The neighboring convention center will host certain indoor events. LA Live’s outdoor plaza will host the MLB draft on Sunday night.
At Dodger Stadium, some of the upgrades have already begun. The majority of the work will occur behind the Right Field and Left Field Pavilions. The Pavilions appear to be undergoing a total renovation in order to create a brand new concourse at the top of each Pavilion section where people may stand and watch the game before proceeding to their seats.
There are a variety of free activities for baseball and softball enthusiasts along the Santa Monica Pier and an adjoining beach, including a daily yoga session and baseball-themed sand sculptures. On the pier, there will be batting and pitching cages, free of charge. On July 16, MLB will team up with Heal the Bay to do a beach clean-up.
“As everyone knows, Los Angeles is the home of big events and big parties,” Kasten said Tuesday. “This is going to be five days of big, big events. Five days of big, big parties.”
The last All-Star Game that was hosted by the Dodgers in 1980 participated by Steve Garvey (pitcher), Davey Lopes (catcher), Bill Russell (outfielder), as well as Jerry Reuss (pitcher). It was a 4-2 victory for the Nationals over the American League. Rick Honeycutt, the future Dodgers pitching coach, was an American League reliever.
In 1959, after moving from Brooklyn to the West Coast, the Dodgers held the first game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The third-oldest stadium in Major League Baseball, Dodger Stadium, didn’t open until 1962.