Fenway Park should be hosting the 2024 MLB All-Star Game
Boston Red Sox fans were disappointed (what else is new this year?) this week when Major League Baseball announced that the 2024 All-Star Game will take place at Globe Life Field, home of the Texas Rangers.
It’s been more than two decades since Fenway Park hosted an All-Star Game, and the Sox have been lobbying to bring it back to Boston.
But 2024, in particular, would’ve held double meaning for Boston, and that’s why the decision to hold the annual midsummer event in Texas stings for so many in Red Sox Nation.
First, 2024 would mark a quarter century since the last All-Star Game at Fenway, the 1999 event considered one of the most meaningful in the history of the contest. Because it was the final All-Star Game of the century, the pregame ceremonies included special introductions for All-Century Team nominees, which gave humanity this incredible and unplanned Ted Williams moment:
Williams’ return to Boston healed the wounds of his contentious relationship with fans and the media. As he rode onto the field, he tipped his cap to a tear-soaked crowd – something he swore never to do early in his career – and he, too, was in tears. That year’s All-Stars surrounded Williams and for nearly twenty-five minutes, delaying the game considerably, talked baseball with him. Then, Williams threw out the first pitch to Carlton Fisk.
Pedro Martinez also started for the American League side and made history as the first pitcher in All-Star history to begin the game by striking out the side. He struck out the first four batters faced, five of six in all, and won All-Star MVP for his efforts.
And 2024 will also be the twentieth anniversary of the 2004 World Series. Yes, we’re all old now.
Imagine going down memory lane at the 2024 All-Star Game. Consider how it would feel to watch the Ted Williams moment on the video board, and honor the 2004 championship team. Boston would love it, New York would hate it. It would’ve been perfect.
Instead, Arlington’s new ballpark, which has an exterior that’s drawn comparisons to a Costco or the cover of a suburban dad’s prized grill, gets the prize. In a statement, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred offered an explanation for the decision:
"“The Rangers stepped up under difficult circumstances and Globe Life Field served as a terrific host for the 2020 Postseason, including the World Series. We are excited to once again feature Baseball’s newest ballpark on a global stage.”"
If there’s a version of ageism for buildings, this is it. Is Fenway being faulted for being baseball’s oldest ballpark now?
Texas hasn’t hosted an All-Star Game since 1995, so it’s fair to say they’ve waited long enough. But their ballpark is brand new and Fenway has opened its doors to fans since 1912; which park has a higher likelihood of existing in twenty years? When the current ownership took over, they spent millions to refurbish, expand, and enhance the park, rather than demolish, as the previous ownership was considering the last time they hosted the All-Star Game. Still, Fenway won’t last forever; nothing does. It deserves to host another midsummer classic before it’s torn down and replaced by one of these shiny new Costco parks.
Update: MLB commissioner Rob Manfred says Fenway Park could host 2025 or 2027 All-Star Game
At the Winter Meetings on December 6, Manfred announced that Fenway could be the site of the 2025 or 2027 midsummer event. Of course, he noted that several other teams are also interested.