The Reds will host the 2015 All-Star Game at Great American Ball Park, the city’s first since 1988, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press.
Commissioner Bud Selig will discuss the decision on Wednesday in Cincinnati, where he’s also appearing to promote Major League Baseball’s latest urban youth academy, according to the person speaking on condition of anonymity because no announcement had been made.
The Cincinnati Enquirer first reported the decision.
The Reds have been trying to acquire the All-Star Game since they opened Great American Ball Park in 2003. They hosted the game twice at Riverfront Stadium — two weeks after its opening in 1970 and again in 1988. This year’s game will be played at the Mets’ Citi Field in New York. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played in Minneapolis.
It’ll be the fifth time that Cincinnati — home of baseball’s first professional franchise — will host the All-Star Game. It was played at Crosley Field in 1938 and again in 1953. The Reds hosted the game when they opened Riverfront Stadium in 1970, and baseball had one of its most memorable finishes. Pete Rose bowled over Indians catcher Ray Fosse to score the winning run in the 12th inning of a 5-4 NL victory.
In 1988, rain washed out the home run derby the day before the All-Star Game at Riverfront Stadium. The uneventful game ended in a 2-1 American League victory, with Oakland catcher Terry Steinbach driving in both AL runs on a homer and a sacrifice fly. Steinbach was the MVP and his special bat — with his name erroneously spelled ”Steinbech” — was sent to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
The Reds have made an extra push to get the All-Star Game since Bob Castellini bought controlling interest in the club after the 2005 season. Major League Baseball was impressed by how the Reds handled the annual Civil Rights Game in 2009 and 2010. The Reds also have hosted playoff games in two of the last three seasons.
When the Reds hosted the Civil Rights games, Selig mentioned that the city would be a partner in one of its urban youth academies, aimed at getting youngsters more interested in the game. Selig will discuss MLB’s contribution to the venture on Wednesday. Cincinnati will have the seventh of the urban youth academies, the first in the Midwest.