5 things to know before the All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium – San Bernardino Sun

Dodger Stadium opened 60 years ago, is the largest current stadium and is widely considered one of the most beautiful ballparks to visit.

It’s been the home to 10 World Series, two perfect games and Fernandomania.

But it only has one Major League Baseball All-Star Game in its history. Until this week.

Dodger Stadium on Monday, July 11, 2022. The 2022 MLB All-Star game will be held at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, July 19. (Photo by Dean Musgrove, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

As baseball reaches its midsummer break with the Dodgers well on their way to the playoffs again and the Angels, well, in familiar July territory, the sport’s biggest names will show up at baseball’s third-oldest stadium that, like many other stars in town, doesn’t show its age.

Here are five things to look for leading up to and including Tuesday’s game:

The 42-year wait ends

Southern California has played host to the All-Star Game four times since it most recently was held at Dodger Stadium – at three stadiums with four different names. Two of those were in San Diego – 1992 at Jack Murphy Stadium and 2016 at Petco Park – and two in Anaheim (1989 and 2010) at whatever the Angels called their stadium at the time.

It’s been so long since it was at Dodger Stadium in 1980 that the son of the MVP of that game – Ken Griffey of the Cincinnati Reds – broke into the major leagues nine years later and was inducted into the Hall of Fame six years ago.

Dodger Stadium was supposed to be the site in 2020, but the All-Star Game was canceled that year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Have a blast

In 1960, baseball fans were treated to a season of “Home Run Derby,” a television show shot at Los Angeles’ Wrigley Field – look it up, it existed – during December 1959. Mickey Mantle beat Willie Mays, 9-8, in the debut contest.

No one discussed launch angles or velocity. Fans just watched some all-time greats knock the ball out of the park.

There wasn’t a home run derby before the 1980 All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium, but on Monday eight players will take their shot in the highlight of the lead-up to the game.

The St. Louis Cardinals' Albert Pujols hits a solo home run throws to the plate during the second inning of their game against the Dodgers on Tuesday night in St Louis. (Photo by Joe Puetz/Getty Images)
The St. Louis Cardinals’ Albert Pujols hits a solo home run during the second inning of their game against the Dodgers on Tuesday night in St Louis. Pujols, 42, will participate in the Home Run Derby on Monday and was named to the National League roster as a special selection for Tuesday’s All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Joe Puetz/Getty Images)

There are no current Angels or Dodgers in the competition, but future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols, who played for both teams before his return to St. Louis, and former Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager of the Texas Rangers will take their hacks.

Mantle won $2,000 for his “Home Run Derby” victory over Mays in 1960; Monday’s top slugger will win $1 million.

Before the game

All-Star Game-related activities got underway late last week, but there remain some options if you can’t score a ticket – though they’re not quite as outrageous as expected on the secondary market.

The Capital One Play Ball Park, an immersive experience that includes opportunities to meet former players and get autographs, is open at the Los Angeles Convention Center through Tuesday. Admission for a single adult is $35, but there are several discounts available for students, military members and families.

And Monday’s activities before the home run derby include workouts for both teams at Dodger Stadium beginning at 2:15 p.m. There were some face-value Monday tickets available late last week, and there are plenty through ticket resellers.

The locals

Two Dodgers were voted in by fans to start the game in their home stadium: outfielder Mookie Betts and shortstop Trea Turner. Dodgers pitchers Clayton Kershaw and Tony Gonsolin also were selected to the National League team.

Signs along Cesar Chavez Ave. near Dodger Stadium on Monday, July 11, 2022. The 2022 MLB All-Star game will be held at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, July 19. (Photo by Dean Musgrove, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)
An image of Dodgers shortstop Trea Turner is among the signs along Cesar Chavez Ave. near Dodger Stadium on Monday, July 11, 2022. The 2022 MLB All-Star Game will be held on Tuesday, July 19, at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Dean Musgrove, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Angels star Mike Trout was voted in for his 10th All-Star Game, the most of anyone on the rosters besides MLB commissioner Rob Manfred’s “legends” selections of Pujols (11) and the Detroit Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera (12). Trout missed time last week with back spasms and was scratched shortly before Saturday’s game, so his status is uncertain.

One of the main attractions for the second consecutive season promises to be Angels designated hitter and pitcher Shohei Ohtani, who was voted in by fans for the former role and also will pitch. Ohtani opted to skip the home run derby this year after participating last year in Denver, but he has put himself in strong contention to be the American League’s starting pitcher again with a dominant recent run.

The best all-star game

Yes, we understand the NFL is the most popular league in American sports. It’s not even close. Got it. But the Pro Bowl is an abomination that often doesn’t feature the best players because they’re busy the following week in the Super Bowl.

Other leagues’ games are loaded with offense but defense is tougher to find than the outer limits of Steph Curry’s shooting range. (He plays basketball for the unfamiliar.) Sure, the NBA delivers a fun weekend of events, but the game itself usually is a farce.

Baseball’s All-Star Game is an actual contest where the stars try to outdo each other. Pete Rose’s demolition of catcher Ray Fosse to win the 1970 game is the ultimate example. But less violent confrontations still are exciting. For instance, can Gonsolin take the mound at home and stop the Yankees’ Aaron Judge, the greatest threat to reach 60 home runs in a season since the steroids era?

Since 2017, the All-Star Game stopped determining which league had home-field advantage in the World Series. It’s about nothing but pride and the chance for players to show they belong among the best.

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