Attention fans, now pinch-hitting for Atlanta: Denver.
Coors Field is expected to be announced as the site of this year’s All-Star game, according to a person familiar with the decision but not authorized to speak publicly. The formal announcement could come as soon as Tuesday.
The Dodgers already were scheduled to play host to the All-Star game next year. Neither the Dodgers nor any of the other four California teams were seriously considered as a replacement host for this year, since Major League Baseball was wary of playing the game in the state in consecutive years.
MLB stripped Atlanta of the game last Friday, eight days after Georgia adopted a law that voting rights advocates say can make it more difficult to vote and could disproportionately impact Black and other minority communities.
In the days in between — as MLB commissioner Rob Manfred consulted with players, owners, union leaders, team officials and sponsors — Atlanta-based corporate giants Coca-Cola and Delta denounced the new law as “unacceptable,” and President Biden said he would “strongly support” moving the game out of Atlanta.
The Braves, the team that would have played host to the game, said they were “deeply disappointed” by Manfred’s decision. The governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, blasted the league, saying it had “caved to fear, political opportunism, and liberal lies.”
The mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms, said she regretted but understood the decision and wrote that it could represent “the 1st of many dominoes to fall, until the unnecessary barriers put in place to restrict access to the ballot box are removed.”
On Friday, as MLB announced that Atlanta no longer would play host to the All-Star game, Colorado Rockies pitcher Jon Gray was asked if the hitter-friendly Coors Field would be a suitable replacement.
“Well,” Gray said, “the home run derby would be legendary.”
The only other time the All-Star game was played in Denver, in 1998, the finalists in the derby were future Hall of Famers Ken Griffey Jr. and Jim Thome. The American League won the highest-scoring game in All-Star history, 13-8.