KANSAS CITY — This year’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game comes to the heartland of America, to a city located geographically in the center of a country that has long dubbed baseball as its National Pastime.
Under scorching temperatures, with the smell of succulent barbeque penetrating the streets, and a passionate fan base still drenched in the history that legends like George Brett, Frank White and Dick Howser helped make, Kansas City is undeniably a baseball town.
While recent years have proven rough for Royals fans, this year they’re treated with a divine week-long blast of baseball elegance, the crown jewel of July, the 83rd playing of the Midsummer Classic.
Brett leads clinic: Royals legend and Hall of Famer George Brett was on hand at the Kansas City Convention Center Friday for a youth baseball clinic. Brett, a longtime ambassador of Kansas City, is the go-to famous figure for the city this weekend. He will be on-hand giving clinics and signing autographs through Tuesday at the convention center.
Selig to host annual chat: Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig will address fans in a live Internet chat session on Monday. He will answer questions in front of an audience during the FanFest beginning at 12:30 p.m. EST. The event will also be live on MLB.com.
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum: Only two miles from downtown Kansas City, The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is a monumental facility packed with baseball history dating back hundreds of years. Anchored by a beautiful baseball diamond and bronze statues of arguably the top 10 Negro League players of all-time (there’s a batter in the box to make 10), it’s a must-see for any baseball fan taking the journey to K.C. this week.
Topps Digital at ASG: Aside from posting daily blog posts right here on Tumblr, we’ll also be very active on Twitter and Facebook @ToppsPennant and @ToppsBUNTCast from every major event in K.C. Follow along and feel free to engage! More importantly, if you’re in K.C. over the next few days, please stop by the Topps booth at FanFest to say hello and demo our new apps.
Social media madness: If you’ve been tweeting about #KC and the #ASG, then there’s a good chance someone from the Social Media Command Center in Kansas City replied and engaged with you. It’s only Friday and their team has been extremely active. Even Mayor Sly James retweeted me twice throughout the day. For a complete social media guide to the weekend, MLB.com compiled a simple-to-follow document with all the info you’ll need.
Schedule: Just in case you haven’t seen it yet, here’s a look at what’s going on the next few days:
- Saturday: FanFest 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
- Sunday: FanFest, 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m., Futures Game 4:00 p.m., Celebrity Softball 7:00 p.m.
- Monday: FanFest, 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m., AL/NL Workouts 4:15 p.m., Home Run Derby, 7:00 p.m.
- Tuesday: FanFest, 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., All-Star Game, 6:30 p.m.
Other news & notes
- According to a report from Major League Baseball, St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday has been named to replace Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina on the N.L.’s active roster.
- If you’re heading to K.C. for All-Star festivities, you might want to read the MLB.com FanFest 411 story. It’s a quick look at what to expect over the next few days.
To have an inside look at baseball history, check out the new Topps Pennant app today and follow us on Twitter @ToppsPennant.
-Chris R. Vaccaro