Red Sox want to host MLB All-Star Game at Fenway Park
By Sean Penney
Boston Red Sox president Sam Kennedy hopes that Fenway Park will host another MLB All-Star Game and he revealed the possibility has been discussed.
The stars always shine at Fenway Park with the Boston Red Sox annually fielding one of the more loaded rosters in baseball. What if we could see every position on the field filled by a star player? It could happen soon.
No, the Red Sox aren’t on the verge of a spending spree that buys them elite talent at every spot on the diamond. Bringing the stars to Fenway could happen in the form of hosting the MLB All-Star Game.
Red Sox president Sam Kennedy discussed the concept at the groundbreaking ceremony for the MGM Music Hall at Fenway on Friday, according to The Boston Globe.
"“We would love to have an All-Star Game here,” Kennedy said. “In fact, I talked to some of the folks at MLB about the possibility. We need to work and figure out a time that would work for the convention centers. But we’ve told MLB that we would like to host.”"
Fenway hasn’t hosted an All-Star Game since 1999 but the event was one of the most memorable in the history of the midsummer classic.
The 70th annual All-Star Game was notable for honoring the nominees of the All-Century Team, including the legendary Ted Williams. The Hall of Fame outfielder who spent his entire 19-year career with the Red Sox was driven around the field on a golf cart as an adoring fan base greeted him with a standing ovation.
The players gathered around the mound for their opportunity to meet Williams. These were the greatest players in the game at the time but in the presence of the “greatest hitter who ever lived,” they were fans just like the rest of us.
Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez started the game for the American League and turned the event into an instant classic with two shutout innings to earn the MVP Award. Pedro became the first pitcher to begin an All-Star Game by striking out the side and he would end up striking out five of the six batters he faced.
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Fenway has gone overlooked as a venue for the All-Star Game due to being among the smallest ballparks in the majors. They were selected to host the game in ’99 because the history of the old ballpark tied in well with the festivities honoring the All-Century Team.
There had also been talk at the time of the Red Sox building a new stadium. Fenway was chosen to host the All-Star Game in part because it was potentially the last opportunity to hold the event at one of baseball’s most historic ballparks.
The Red Sox instead decided to renovate Fenway. The current ownership group has invested quite a bit into upgrading the stadium and adding more seats. It still can’t hold the capacity of more modern stadiums but it’s certainly an improvement.
Boston is an amazing sports city with some of the best fans in baseball. They may not be able to pack in quite as many people as other stadiums can hold but there’s no doubt that the crowd would be electric.
The home run derby would have a unique element with batters taking aim at the towering green wall in left field. There were no seats on top of the Green Monster in 1999 but sitting up there for the derby would be quite an experience.
It’s unclear when or if the Red Sox will get their wish of hosting another All-Star Game. We know that Los Angeles will host the 2020 All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium followed by Atlanta’s SunTrust Park in 2021.
It’ll be at least a few years before we could see the All-Star festivities come to Fenway but the fact that Boston’s brass seems intent on making it happen sparks a reason for excitement.