MLB All Star Game - A Closer Look
The MLB All Star Game – often referred to as the "Midsummer Classic" – is a game featuring outstanding players chosen from National and American league teams, who oppose each other, league against league. Arch Ward, a Chicago Tribune sports editor, is credited with promoting the first All Star Game, which was held in Chicago in 1933 in conjunction with the Century of Progress Exposition.
The All Star Game is held each July – two annual games were played from 1959 to 1962. Most of the gate receipts are donated to the player's pension fund. Similar contests are conducted in American professional football and basketball, as well as on various amateur levels of these and other sports.
The All Star Game venue is chosen by MLB and traditionally alternates between the two leagues every year. The home team is the league in which the host franchise plays its games. The two managers are traditionally the managers of the previous season's two World Series teams.
MLB fans vote on the starting position players for the All Star Game. As of 2004, pitchers and back-up position players are elected by other players, with the team's managers deciding how to fill any empty slots. Each MLB team is guaranteed to have at least one player selected to participate.
The Home Run Derby, a contest among the sport's top home run hitters, is played on the day before the All Star Game. In the 2002 All Star Game, following a highly controversial tie when both teams ran out of pitchers in the 11th inning, the MLB changed the rules to give the All Star Game new meaning and additional incentive for victory.
As of July 2004, for the 2003-2004 seasons, the MLB team that won the All Star Game was to be given home-field advantage for the World Series. Previously, home-field advantage in the World Series alternated between the two leagues each year.