Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game has been played through World War II, incursions all over the world, and two seasons when there were player strikes, but this year’s contest, slated for July 14 at Dodger Stadium, didn’t make it because of the spreading coronavirus.
Los Angeles will instead host the 2022 game, as next season’s Mid-Summer Classic had already been awarded to Atlanta and three-year-old Truist Park.
“Once it became clear we were unable to hold this year’s All-Star festivities, we wanted to award the Dodgers with the next available All-Star Game,” Commissioner Robert Manfred said in a statement. “I want to thank the Dodgers organization and the City of Los Angeles for being collaborative partners in the early stages of All-Star preparation and for being patient and understanding in navigating the uncertainty created by the pandemic. The 2022 All-Star celebration promises to be a memorable one with events throughout the city and at picturesque Dodger Stadium.”
Baseball has been dormant because of COVID-19 since March 12. Though players began reporting to 30 camps this weekend with hopes that a 60-game season can be played beginning July 23, even that’s in danger as the virus continues to precipitously spread throughout North America.
The All-Star Game has been played every year since the inaugural tilt at Chicago’s old Comiskey Park in July 6, 1933, and twice from 1961-63. The game, though, hasn’t been held at Dodger Stadium since ’80. The Dodgers had hosted twice previously: at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field in ’49, and at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in ’59, a year after they moved to the West Coast.
The 1981 game was postponed by the 50-day strike but was ultimately played at Cleveland Municipal Stadium to open the second half of the season after labor issues were settled.
This year’s health and safety issues are unprecedented.
“COVID-19 has forced us to make a lot of tough calls and sacrifices—and while it may have disrupted our plans for this year, we can’t wait to welcome baseball’s best to Los Angeles for the 2022 All-Star Game,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “The Dodgers have always brought Angelenos together, and baseball has helped America heal time and again. I look forward to welcoming fans from all over the world to our city and Dodger Stadium for this Midsummer Classic.”