In response to the recent voting law changes that have been passed in the state of Georgia — which critics say impose “significant new obstacles to voting” — Major League Baseball has chosen to remove this summer’s All-Star Game and MLB Draft from Atlanta and discussions regarding a new site have begun. Per a statement from Commissioner Rob Manfred, “we have engaged in thoughtful conversations with Clubs, former and current players, the Players Association, and The Players Alliance, among others, to listen to their views. I have decided that the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating this year’s All-Star Game and MLB Draft.”
The new laws have been opposed by both Democrats and voting rights groups who believe the changes will “disproportionately disenfranchise voters of color.” The league has received support for the decision from the Players’ Association, the Players’ Alliance (which has the goal of increasing Black participation in baseball), and even President Joe Biden. The Atlanta Braves, on the other hand, put out a statement saying they are “deeply disappointed” by the decision. The Braves relocated from the city of Atlanta to the unincorporated suburb of Cumberland and the recently-built, taxpayer-funded Truist Park in 2017.
Major League Baseball plans to honor the life and memory of the late Henry Aaron during this year’s Midsummer Classic, and even though the game will no longer be played in the city, Commissioner Manfred ensured in his statement that “MLB’s planned investments to support local communities in Atlanta as part of our All-Star Legacy Projects will move forward.” The league has said that they will finalize plans for a new site shortly, and the city of Milwaukee is now angling to host the event.
Milwaukee’s mayor asking MLB to come to Milwaukee for the All Star Game pic.twitter.com/eG6TRZwePZ— Matt Smith (@mattsmith_news) April 2, 2021
Henry Aaron’s first 12 seasons in the big leagues were played with the Braves while they were located in Milwaukee, and he was a member of the newly formed Brewers for the final two years of his career. He hit his 755th and final career home run at County Stadium in Milwaukee on July 20th, 1976.
Milwaukee last hosted an All-Star Game in 2002, shortly after Miller Park — now American Family Field — opened. That contest infamously ended in a tie. After missing out on what was supposed to be something of a “coming out party” for the city in the summer of 2020 when the traditional Democratic National Convention was thwarted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, hosting the MLB All-Star Game in 2021 would be quite a welcome opportunity for the Cream City — a great place on a great lake.