It’s been an incredible run for the Tribe. World Series dramatics. Free agent slugger. And now, the Midsummer Classic, coming back to Cleveland for a record-6th time. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred was in town on Friday to make the announcement, knowing full well what this means to the organization, and the city of Cleveland.
“The Indians are symbolic of some of our smaller markets,” Manfred said following the announcement. “We were thrilled at the success they had on the field, because it’s an indication of the fact that our economic system works.”
No doubt. The Indians made it to Game 7 of the World Series with one of the lowest payrolls in baseball, before falling to the Cubs, who had one of the highest. Now, with the All-Star Game coming back, the city of Cleveland can look to cash in.
“$65 million is what the expected impact will be (to the city),” Indians owner Paul Dolan said. “That’s why we (team and city) make the investment in the stadium. That’s the kind of payback you get.”
And it’s about more than money. It’s about memories. The last time the game was here, 20 years ago, Sandy Alomar Jr. brought the house down with his 7th inning home run that not only provided the difference for the American League, but earned the Indians catcher MVP honors. That kind of moment on that kind of stage lives forever.
“The fact that everyone was talking about it (the game) the whole year…to just have a chance to get in the game, with the game on the line, and hitting a home run, that was unbelievable,” Alomar said.
Now a new era of Indians stars, including Francisco Lindor, may have that chance to shine.
In the Midsummer Classic. In their own backyard.
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