The year was 1996. The All-Star Game featured future Hall of Famers Ivan Rodriguez, Cal Ripken Jr., Wade Boggs, Barry Larkin, Mike Piazza, Chipper Jones, Craig Biggio, and John Smoltz all in the starting lineup and 9 others on the bench and in the bullpen.
It was the last time the Phillies hosted an All-Star Game and the Phillies lone representative was reliever Ricky Bottalico.
The guy who is now best known for voicing the grievances of Phillies fans pre and post-game.
That was over 22 years ago. Since then, the Phillies rang in a new and much-improved ballpark that we know and love today, Citizens Bank Park. The Bank is one of the nicer stadiums in the league and is now over 10 years old, yet hasn’t hosted an All-Star Game as of 2019.
In fact, the Phillies are the only NL East team to not host an All-Star game this millennium. The Braves had it in 2000, Mets in 2013, Marlins in 2017, and Nationals in 2018.
The stars are aligning in Philadelphia. Bryce Harper is a Phillie. JT Realmuto is a Phillie. Aaron Nola was extended as a Phillie. The Phillies are going to become a destination again for free agents like it was from 2008-2011, so why shouldn’t it become the destination for an All-Star Game in the next 5 years?
The Cleveland Indians will host the All-Star Game this July and their last time hosting was 1997, the year after the Phillies. The Dodgers have 2020 on lock, which is fair considering they haven’t hosted since 1980.
But 2021 and beyond?
Citizen’s Bank Park will be featured on the national stage soon and hopefully it’s within the next 5 years.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports