The MLB All-Star Game is one of the most prestigious games on the major league calendar every season. This year’s game will be played Tuesday at Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres. But there’s a lot on the schedule before it, like the Futures game and Home Run Derby. And since Thursday, the city had been full of events big and small that celebrate baseball, encourage staying active, and are just fun.
But FanFest, at the San Diego Convention Center is the place any baseball fan in San Diego needs to be during the All-Star celebration. You can play MLB The Show 16 at the PlayStation video game zone, get autographs, hear MLB players and legends speak, practice your fielding and hitting, and buy fan apparel. You also can take pictures with MLB players past and present and learn from special exhibits brought in from Baseball the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. You can even participate in playing a Hall of Fame Trivia Quiz and test your baseball knowledge in front of a live audience.
Outside the convention center, kids who play baseball — or are interested in learning how to play — can find many activities at MLB’s Play Ball Park. Located near FanFest, the field is part of the league’s initiative to get more kids involved in playing ball games, like baseball, softball, and Wiffle ball. Another part of the Play Ball activities are MLB’s Pitch, Hit, and Run competition and the T-Mobile Jr. Home Run Derby, which are taking place inside Petco Park.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred stopped by the park on Saturday and spoke to a crowd of baseball fans about what MLB wants to accomplish with Play ball. The commissioner stated that Major League Baseball will be working together with USA Baseball to help grow the game, and that USA Baseball will be taking a leadership role in working on issues that have to deal with diversity, health and safety. During Manfred’s visit, kids played casual ball games with members of USA Baseball and some MLB team mascots.
The celebration of baseball can be seen and felt all around Petco Park and the city of San Diego. There are lots of memories to share, stories to pass on, and special moments to record. But this is just the start, and as we get closer to Tuesday’s All-Star Game there’s sure to be many more unforgettable moments to experience.
Photos: Max Ferregur