The MLB All-Star Game is the best in professional sports. By far. Granted, having the best all-star game is like being the world’s tallest dwarf. But still, it counts for something.
The Midsummer Classic, as baseball’s game is called, is the best mainly due to the nature of baseball itself. Unlike the other sports, the way baseball is played means that it isn’t prone to may of the other pitfalls that face the other sports when it comes to their all-star games.
In the NFL’s Pro Bowl, blitzes and stunts aren’t allowed, so the defense is at a disadvantage. The game happens at the end of the season, so most of the players are more concerned about not getting hurt.
The NHL All-Star game discourages hitting, so the impact of most defensemen is nullified while goalies are hung out to dry. In both cases, the nature of the game is compromised as defense is ignored.
The stars of the NBA generally don’t care about defense in their All-Star Game, so the games turn into boring, high-scoring affairs.
The MLB All-Star game, on the other hand, is actually like a normal game, just with more roster changes.
It’s true that most players are voted into the All-Star Game because of their offensive prowess, but that doesn’t mean that defense is ignored.
Groundballs must still be fielded, and flyballs must still be caught. There just isn’t a way to eliminate that part of the game like hockey, basketball, and football do.
Also, baseball doesn’t require the same familiarity that the other sports do.There are no complex schemes like football, no linemates like hockey, and no plays and spacing like basketball.
Cuts from the outfield are pretty much universal, and every player knows the responsibility of his position. There’s not a learning curve, and that results in a more fluid, entertaining game.
The most important reason, though, is that the players actually care. Maybe it’s due to the tradition and history of baseball, but players genuinely want to be there and are excited about the game.
How many NFL players skip out on the Pro Bowl?
That just doesn’t happen in MLB. Starting pitchers usually decline if they had to pitch a couple days prior, but that’s about it unless someone is injured.
Guys dream of being all-stars and some guys go their entire career without being nominated until the last years of their career.
MLB All-Star participants, and it shows on the field. That’s why the Midsummer Classic is by far the best of the all-star games in major American professional sports.
Featured image via Cheryl Evans/The Arizona Republic