Friday, June 18, 2010

All Star Game, baby!

This comes as no real surprise, but Kauffman Stadium will be hosting the 2012 MLB All-Star Game.

I'm going to do my darnedest to get tickets, at least to the Home Run Derby, but I'm not going to hold my breath. However, this is pretty exciting for Kansas City, and great for the Royals - and hopefully by 2012 we'll have a team worthy of All-Star designation.

Of course, this won't be Kansas City's first All-Star game. We hosted in 1973, and if you've followed this All-Star story at all, you know that 17 - seventeen - players from that 1973 game are now in the Hall of Fame, including...

Hank Aaron

Tom Seaver

Johnny Bench

Nolan Ryan

Carl Yastrzemski

Catfish Hunter

Carlton Fisk

Brooks Robinson

...just to name a few. Pete Rose was also there. And another ballplayer you may have heard of: Willie Mays, in his final All-Star appearance.

Who will be the Hall of Famers from the 2012 game? I'm guessing the number will probably be less than 17.

Derek Jeter will probably be there. He's a lock for the Hall. Mariano Rivera, if he's still playing. Alex Rodriguez, if the steroid stigma will allow him entry into the Hall. And that's just from the Yankees.

But after that, the Hall of Fame prospects get a little thinner. JAlbert Pujols? Yeah, probably, if he can avoid the steroid speculation. Joe Mauer? Yeah, if he keeps hitting the way he's hitting. Ichiro? Maybe, but he might not have the career numbers to do it (although he already has over 2,000 hits in nine-plus years). Roy Halladay? Tim Lincecum? Zack Greinke? Any number of pitchers in the game today could string together five or six strong seasons and be considered for Cooperstown.

Then there are a lot of borderline position players who may or may not be Hall of Fame worthy. David Wright, Chase Utley, Dustin Pedroia, Miguel Cabrera, guys like that.

Who knows? But it'll be a lot of fun to watch. Can't wait until 2012.

--Matt Kelsey

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