I was looking at a copy of the USA Today where they were discussing the past all star games played in New York. From 1934 at the Polo Grounds to 1949 at Ebbetts Field, Yankee Stadium in the mid 1940s, second of two in 1960, then 1977 and 2008, Shea Stadium in 1964. This year at Citi Field, the fewest New Yorkers will participate. Only Robinson Canoe and hall of fame closer Mariano Rivera for the Bronx Bombers and only David Wright and Matt Harvey for the Amazins (Harvey will start). In the past, there were several on all three New York ball clubs, Yankees, Giants, and of course, the Brooklyn Dodgers. Ruth, Gehrig, Terry, Hubbell, Dimaggio, Mantle, Mays, Snider, Reese, and of course Jackie Roosevelt Robinson. The co-authors of the USAT article are disappointed.
Well, as a Met fan, I would have liked to see more albeit beyond David Wright, you are either looking at those who are failing to perform like Ike Davis or guys like Newenhuis, Daniel Murphy, and some outfield prospects just not ready yet. Keep in mind (1) all stars are voted in by the fans; the way it should be because the game is played for the fans. (2) when the reserves are picked by the managers, every team must have at least one representative, and (3) you had only 16 teams prior to 1961—today, you have 30—almost double, and a much more diluted talent pool.
First question to ask is: How would those old timers fair against the modern stars? You may have to wait a few years to answer that as if you believe the players of today are superior, you have to wait until the final remnants of the steroid era have retired. Then you must factor in the more diluted talent pool, the expanded leagues with stars scattered about many different franchises, and with revenue sharing, smaller markets can hang on to their stars and re-sign them when their option year comes up.
After the Dodgers and Giants left Gotham in 1958, sportswriters started congregating in NFL football training camps such as the NY football Giants. The NFL has become more popular than MLB in every major market except New York but even New York as the baseball Mecca is a shadow of its former self. The Yankees are aging. Rivera is retiring, Jeter is having a hard time staying off the DL, A-Rod may have to serve a 100-game suspension for steroid use. Met fans are angry with the ownership group for their involvement with Bernie Madoff. New York can be that great baseball Mecca once again, but it will take some time.
Anyway, on Tuesday night, let’s play ball!