Dusty Baker thinks All-Star Game should be in Milwaukee to honor Hank Aaron

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Last week, MLB announced its plans to relocate the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta following Georgia’s passage of Senate Bill 202, a law many have associated with voter suppression. With Atlanta out of the running, where will MLB set up shop for its annual Mid-Summer Classic? That decision has yet to be made, though a number of interested suitors have emerged including Milwaukee’s Miller Park, which last hosted the event in 2002.

You can understand Milwaukee wanting redemption after that year’s game ended in a controversial tie (the teams ran out of pitchers), prompting MLB to make subsequent All-Star Games (until 2017) determine home-field advantage in the World Series. Milwaukee is also where Hall-of-Fame slugger Hank Aaron, who passed away in January, spent 14 of his 23 MLB seasons. Astros manager Dusty Baker, a former teammate of Aaron’s, is hopeful this year’s All-Star festivities will be held in Milwaukee as a tribute to Aaron, who both began and finished his career in the Cream City.

Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett echoed that sentiment, encouraging MLB to select Milwaukee as this year’s host city in a letter to baseball commissioner Rob Manfred. “As you review alternative sites for the game, I ask you to consider Milwaukee,” Barrett expressed via Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “It is a particularly appropriate location to honor Hank Aaron, who is a revered and beloved former Milwaukeean. He started and concluded his Major League career with teams here. The City of Milwaukee would be honored to host the All-Star Game and you would have the full support of my office to make the festivities a success.”

While Milwaukee’s ties to Aaron, MLB’s all-time leader in RBI and second to Barry Bonds in home runs, make it arguably the most logical choice, it seems Pittsburgh, led by state senators Jay Costa and Wayne Fontana, is similarly hell-bent on hosting. “We recently hosted the 2006 game successfully (as well as on four other occasions) and we are ready and willing to do it again,” Costa and Fontana argued in support of PNC Park as this year’s All-Star venue. “Pittsburgh’s PNC Park is annually ranked among the best baseball stadiums in the country. The vistas of Downtown are unrivaled, and the intimacy of this stadium draws fans into the experience. There could not be a better venue to host the 2021 MLB All-Star Game.”

Wherever it’s held, this will be the first All-Star Game since 2019, when the event was staged at Cleveland’s Progressive Field. MLB scrapped last year’s game due to COVID.

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