Each sport has its own version of an all-star game, but none seem to be able to match the luster, nostalgia and feeling of importance the MLB All-Star Game brings to the table every July.
Every all-star game has its bright spots and moments, but for the most part the Mid-Summer Classic is solid all the way through.
The main thing that makes the MLB All-Star Break stand out from NBA All-Star Weekend and the NFL’s Pro Bowl Week is how evident it is the players care about who wins the game.
The NBA All-Star Game is nothing more than a glorified pickup game until the fourth quarter when the players finally start to take things seriously and play some semblance of defense.
I love basketball, especially the NBA, but I can hardly watch the All-Star Game anymore. It got to the point this February where I just kept up with the game on Twitter and spent my time watching something else until the final quarter. I can only take so many uncontested jumpers and layups.
Football, which is probably my favorite sport to watch, and its all-star game, the Pro Bowl, are even worse. The lack of intensity and heart displayed is pretty much unbearable for me now. It’s essentially just a practice where one team gets a large sum of money at the end while their opponents get a slightly less sum of money. I honestly can’t remember the last time I watched more than one or two offensive series in a Pro Bowl.
But baseball is different. It’s not my favorite sport, but it is genuinely interesting and refreshing to see each player give his all in the event.
Part of the reason for the MLB All-Star Game having more of a real game atmosphere is because of what’s at stake: Home-field advantage in the World Series.
I don’t agree with the decision Bud Selig made in 2003 to make the All-Star Game the deciding factor in who hosts the Fall Classic because it can often lead to players who won’t be factors in the postseason deciding something as important as where a potential World Series Game 7 could be played. But I do like how it has added meaning to such a historic game.
Another factor with the Mid-Summer Classic that the NFL and NBA all-star games seem to lack is the mystique it tends to bring. Baseball is a sport steeped in tradition and history and that is definitely the case when it comes to its All-Star Game.
Memorable moments seem to happen every summer, more so than the feats that occur in the NBA’s and NFL’s events. I have no recollection of historic events in the Pro Bowl, and in the NBA’s All-Star Weekend, most of my memories stem back to old Dunk Contests, not the actual game.
The MLB All-Star Game is truly a game of its own, and hopefully tonight we’ll have another memory to store away with all the others that have happened over the years.