Baseball’s All-Star game is now a week-long celebration, and this week that celebration came to my hometown (sort of), Washington, D.C. It was the first time our nation’s capital hosted the midsummer classic in 49 years.
They’ll get another chance sooner than that.
First, Monday evening… the Home Run Derby, so much cooler since the clock and bracket format were introduced (sacrilege in a way but ultimately not). This event, literally, was years in the making. Ever since we knew this game would be in D.C. we awaited a certain Mr. Harper’s participation. He participated and then some. His moment was reminiscent of Derek Jeter’s final Yankee Stadium at bat, a comparison I do not use lightly (like comparing a president to Lincoln or a playwright to Shakespeare). Harper’s final minute of regulation, during which he (and his dad!) prevailed against long odds to claim the derby crown, was the greatest moment in Washington sports since, well, the Caps a month ago, but a hell of a long time before that one.
Then there was the game.
Well, that one could have gone better from a National League fan perspective. Yes, first time in my life rooting for the NL in the All-Star game. A game with 10 home runs should be pretty fun to watch. It was. And it gave credence to those who say the game is now only strikeouts and home runs. (There were 25 of the former, by the way.) Pitching, fundamentals, and three-run home runs, right? Well, then AL had its three-run homer. A two-run game-tying blast in the bottom of the ninth from Scooter Gennett just wasn’t enough. Exciting, but not enough.
Still, a great game. And a great moment. And seriously… Harper Monday night… that was magic.
Gonna be the greatest moment at Nats Park until they roll out the World Series bunting.