The Major League Baseball All-Star Game, also known as the “Midsummer Classic”, is an annual baseball game sanctioned by Major League Baseball (MLB) between professional players from the National League and the American League, currently selected by fans for starting fielders, by managers for pitchers, and by managers and players for reserves. The game usually occurs on either the second or third Tuesday in July, and is meant to mark a symbolic halfway-point in the MLB season (though not the mathematical halfway-point which, for most seasons, is usually found within the previous calendar week). Both of the major leagues share a common All-Star break, with no regular-season games scheduled on the day before or the day after the All-Star Game itself. Some additional events and festivities associated with the game take place each year close to and during this break in the regular season.
The venue for each All-Star Game is chosen by a MLB selection committee. This choice may be made to commemorate a particular historical occasion, the opening of a new ballpark, or a significant year. The Minnesota Twins successfully bid for the 2014 All-Star Game in their home ballpark, Target Field, which was opened in 2010; before 2014, the Twins had not hosted the All-Star Game since 1985. Although the game’s venue traditionally alternates between the two leagues from year to year, this tradition has been broken twice in past seasons: The first time was in 1951, when the American League’s Detroit Tigers hosted the annual game as part of the city’s 250th birthday. It was broken again in 2007, when the National League’s San Francisco Giants hosted an All-Star Game. That scheduling paved the way for the 2008 game to be held in an American League venue, (the original) Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York, to historically mark its final season (the Yankees moved to a newer stadium the following season). From 2009 to 2015, an American League stadium is scheduled to host the All-Star Game in even-numbered years and a National League stadium is chosen to host it in odd-numbered years. An NL stadium will host one for the next 3 years starting in 2016, which will break for the third time.
Normally the managers of the game are the managers of the previous year’s league pennant winners. The coaching staff for each team is selected by its manager. This honor is given to the manager, not the team, so it is possible that the All-Star manager could no longer be with the team with which he won. This happened in 2003, when Dusty Baker managed the National League team despite having moved from the National League champion San Francisco Giants to the Chicago Cubs. This has also included situations where the person is no longer actively managing a team. For the first All-Star Game, intended as a one-time event, Connie Mack and John McGraw were regarded as baseball’s venerable managers, and were asked to lead the American and National League teams, respectively. McGraw came out of retirement for that purpose. Dick Williams resigned after managing the Oakland Athletics to the 1973 World Series. In 1974, he became manager of the California Angels, whose uniform he wore for the game. Tony LaRussa, who managed the World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals in 2011, and retired after the season, came back to manage the National League in 2012. In 1979, Bob Lemon managed the American League team after having been fired by New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. Lemon led the Yankees to the 1981 World Series but did not make it to the ’82 All-Star Game as manager after again being fired by Steinbrenner, so Billy Martin, skipper of the 1981 AL runner-up Oakland Athletics, led the All-Star squad.
Until 2009, each league’s All-Star team consisted of 32 players. On July 1, 2009, the MLB added a 33rd player to each league’s team roster.
On April 28, 2010, MLB announced several rules changes for future All-Star games, effective with the 2010 edition.
Rosters were expanded by one extra position player, to a total of 34.
The designated hitter will be used in all games, even in National League ballparks.
Pitchers who start on the Sunday before the game break will be replaced on the roster, but will still be recognized as All-Stars.
Each manager may designate a position player who will be eligible for game re-entry if the last position player is injured or ejected. This is in addition to a rule that allows a player to re-enter to replace an injured or ejected catcher.