MLB stars shine at the All-Star Weekend

Drew Hoffman, Eastside Editorial Assistant

Every year, around the middle of July, as the temperature becomes consistently scalding, it becomes more and more evident that summer is in full motion. To baseball fans, one event stands out above the rest during this time: the Major League Baseball All-Star Weekend. During this weekend, baseball’s best converge to a given city to show the world why he is the best of the best.

This year, the festivities will be taking place at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. The festivities, which are the same each year, include the Futures Game and Celebrity Softball Game on Sunday, July 12, and the Homerun Derby on Monday. To wrap the All-Star Break up, the All-Star Game is played on Tuesday.

The Futures Game is played between the top prospects of Major League Baseball in a USA vs. World format. The game gets a lot of buzz each year, as it contains many of the future stars of the game. Stars such as Miguel Cabrera, Mike Trout and Justin Verlander have taken part in the game.

The Celebrity Softball Game is made up of famous people involved in sports or entertainment, and is generally a fan favorite because of many of the participants, such as Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton and West-coast rapper Snoop Dogg.

The Homerun Derby is something every fan looks forward to each year as well. Baseball’s biggest home run hitters compete to see who the top slugger in the league is. The format of the derby has changed every year for the past few years. Until recently, eight competitors were given ten outs each to hit as many home runs as they can, with the top home run hitters advancing. Now, there is a bracket format where each player gets a five-minute time limit and the player who hits the most home runs in that five minutes moves on. The change came in response to fans complaining that the derby lasted too long, a complaint which should be alleviated by this new format.

The All-Star Game is the culmination of the spectacular break. Stars from each league compete to decide the better league, and which league gets home-field advantage in the World Series. While the All-Star Games in other sports have no weight to them, baseball’s game decides who will play Games 1,2,6, and 7 at home in the World Series. The four most important games that team will play.

The Major League Baseball All-Star Weekend is something to watch for this week and a great thing to look forward to each season.