July 10, 1990.
That’s the last time the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field hosted MLB’s All-Star Game.
There’ve been exactly 26 All-Star games since Wade Boggs and Ken Griffey Jr. led the AL to a 2-0 win over the National League squad led by Andre Dawson and Ryne Sandberg.
With Wrigley Field’s renovation ongoing and scheduled for completion within a couple years, it’s fair to ask: when is the All-Star Game coming back to the north side of Chicago?
Well, with thirty teams in the league, a natural mathematical order would suggest a Mid-Summer Classic at Wrigley Field by 2020. And, as we know, the Cubs have been pushing for that date – which would come one year after the Cleveland Indians host it at Progressive Field.
But despite the logical timing, Commissioner Rob Manfred is not ready to commit to the Cubs/Wrigley Field for 2010. But with that said, things are looking good.
Speaking on the matter this week (Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times), Commissioner Manfred intimated that he doesn’t want to say anything that would lead fans to believe he’s close to making a decision. Indeed, he said that a number of clubs, including the Chicago Cubs, are lobbying for the game.
But I promised you a reason for optimism, and that’s just what Manfred provided immediately after: “I will say this. A renovated Wrigley Field would be a great location for an All-Star Game, and Chicago’s a great city.”
Manfred went on to suggest that MLB tries to bring the All-Star game to cities that have made substantial investments in either new or renovated facilities (as a reward). In that respect, there aren’t many teams more viable than the Chicago Cubs, who’ve poured hundreds of millions into restoring Wrigley Field and developing the surrounding neighborhood.
I went to the last All-Star Game in Chicago (2003 at U.S. Cellular Field), and I would love to go to another at Wrigley Field. And so far, things are looking good.