If you haven’t heard by now, the 2018 Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star Game is coming to DC this year. If you’re a fan of baseball, I’m sure you’ve already scoured for tickets and taken a few days off in mid-July, but if you’re not, your only worry is how much worse the traffic is going to get around Navy Yard. Whether you’re a baseball maniac or not, there are a lot of benefits from having this very special game in our city.
Men’s Life DC had a chance to speak to Melanie LeGrande, Vice President of Social Responsibility for Major League Baseball, to learn more about what the All-Star Game’s presence here this year means for our community as a whole.
How did MLB decide on Washington, DC as the host city for 2018?
The MLB commissioner and owners group get submissions about 2 years in advance. That group decides which would be the best locations for the coming years. For example, 2019 and 2020 have already been announced (Cleveland and Los Angeles for those who aren’t in the loop). Plus, there’s a steady process of pre-planning for the entirety of All-Star Week.”
What are this year’s All-Star Legacy Initiatives?
This year’s All-Star Legacy Initiatives will consist of several different events organized and executed by MLB, the Washington Nationals Organization, and DMV local non-profits, including All-Star Fan Fest, the All-Star Futures game, the All-Star Legends and Celebrities softball game, the Home-Run Derby, and finally, the All-Star Game itself. One new addition specifically for this year’s events will be the Armed Services Classic. This free to attend baseball game will feature and support the armed services from all military bases in the area.
More than just the events happening at Nationals Park, there will be several renovations and improvement activities designed to leave a lasting impact throughout the local community as well as support national charitable organizations with close ties to baseball, such as the Boys and Girls Club, Stand up to Cancer, and the Jackie Robinson Foundation. In total, Major League Baseball, the Washington Nationals, and the Nationals Dream Foundation plan to donate approximately $5 million to these initiatives to enrich our local communities and encourage participation in baseball and other physical activities.
Initiatives for the DC area
Currently, the MLB has announced several initiatives around the Washington metropolitan area: including:
- Renovation and reconfiguring at Nationals All-Star Field at Walker Mill Regional Park (Prince George’s County, Md.)
- A new All-Star Pavilion at Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy (Washington D.C.)
- Renovation and improvements at Youth Baseball Complex at Fred Crabtree Park (Fairfax County, Va.)
- A new All-Star Teen Room, Playground, Computer Lab & Community Room at So Others Might Eat (SOME) Spring Road (Washington D.C.)
- Renovation at USO-Metro All-Star Depot at Fort Belvoir (Fairfax County, Va.)
- Renovation and expansion at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington: All-Star Teen Room at Richard England Clubhouse #14 (Washington D.C.)
- A new Mobile Dental Unit with Children’s National (Various Locations Throughout Greater D.C
More will be announced as we draw closer to the mid-summer classic. Overall, the All-Star initiatives are a social and economic driver for the community. Past legends of baseball will be in the community participating in various events, local nonprofits get an influx of cash to assist in their efforts to enrich the community, and in general, the community as a whole gets the opportunity to come together and bond over a common American pastime, and of course all the free events hosted by the MLB, influenced by the entire DC area’s ideas. Follow this link to read more on these and other initiatives.
For more MLB All-Star Week information, visit AllStarGame.com.
Bring it on, July. We’re all ready for the experiences!