Since Great American Ballpark opened in 2003, there's been a steadily increasing buzz around the landing of an All Star Game in Cincinnati. Seven years on, the Reds have yet to secure the Mid-Summer Classic, with 2012 sitting as the next available year. The team's recent stewardship of the Civil Rights Game has served as a sort of audition, adding to the clamor for the next bid to come Pete Rose Way.
So how deserving are the Reds, among other cities and teams that have either gone without hosting All Star Games for decades - or never have as expansion or re-located teams? There are a number of factors to consider, but the most important to my mind is how long a given city has gone without hosting. The city itself benefits from the event and so too do co-municipal teams like the Cubs and Dodgers. In New York, Mets fans simply had to travel to the Bronx in 2008 to see their All Stars in action.
It's been 22 years since Cincinnati has played host to the best players a half-season of baseball has to offer.
I've boringly mashed up the relevant factors in an attempt to rank the ten MLB cities/clubs most deserving of an All Star Game. This ranking only really measures the "wait times" for various categories and is blind to the quality of the city's bid and ability to support the event:
- All numbers are in total years since an All Star Game has been hosted
- 1,000 = "never hosted" (this just works better when using sortable columns). Wherever 1,000 is listed, it means "never."
- If you don't think the overall ranking makes sense, the columns are re-sortable.
- The made-up ranking system to aggregate all the categories that weights the last time the city hosted the All Star Game as most important consideration and the last time the franchise hosted the All Star Game (ie Expos hosting in Montreal) as least important, with a bump given for seniority. Florida and Tampa Bay beat out Kansas City because their cities and teams have never hosted an All Star Game. Despite being younger franchises, their status as blank slates overrides the lack of seniority.
- Seniority is a measure of years the franchise has spent in its current city. I wanted to give an advantage to cities and fanbases over the ownerships and franchises. The only place this really matters is when Kansas City edges out Washington because the Nationals fanbase is only 5 years old and, in that capacity, has not gone as long without an ASG. The franchise had an All Star Game more recently in Montreal. I know there isn't continuity in the ownership, but the principle seems fair and it played a pretty small role in the proceedings.
- Oakland and the Dodgers were docked for having ASGs in Anaheim (this year) and San Francisco (3 years a go).
So here's how the upcoming All Star schedule would look according to this fake system. Great American Ballpark would get an All Star Game in 2017:
||Los Angeles Angels||Angel Stadium|
||Airzona Diamondbacks||Chase Field
||Florida Marlins||Marlins Ballpark
|2013||Tampa Bay, FL
||Tampa Bay Rays||Tropicana Field
|2014||Kansas City, MO||KC Royals||Kauffman Stadium
|2015||Washington, DC||Washington Nationals||Nationals Park
|2016||Minneapolis, MN||Minnesota Twins||Target Field
|2017||Cincinnati, OH||Cincinnati Reds||Great American Ballpark
|2018||New York, NY||New York Mets||Citi Field
|2019||Chicago, IL||Chicago Cubs||Wrigley Field
|2020||Los Angeles, CA||LA Dodgers||Dodger Stadium
|2021||Oakland, CA||Oakland A's||Oakland Coliseum (?)