Where would baseball be without its All-Star break? The annual ritual of four whole days without a meaningful game — but with an almost-exhibition game thrown in during the middle — is a chance to hit the pause button and remind ourselves that baseball is the greatest sport of all. I say that in most of the pieces I write here, but the All-Star game is one of the more obvious reasons why.
In the heart of the summertime, baseball has our attention all to itself. None of the other major team sports can make that claim. Football’s Pro Bowl happens during the basketball and hockey seasons, and basketball and hockey seasons essentially overlap with each other. But from late June through August or September, baseball is the only game in town. The only game that’s actually playing real games, at least.
Football fans have to endure a cycle of one game a week, followed by six days of recovery and preparation for the next game. High school and college football can fill those gaps a bit, and Monday night games also can pick up the slack a bit, but we baseball fans are spoiled.
Going for four days without baseball is hard, but it’s only once a season. The games will start up again on Friday, and then we’ll be set clear into October. Football fans can only dream of going four days without meaningful games. And basketball and hockey teams play three games a week, on average. It’s nothing close to what baseball gives us, every night, all season long.
So whichever side wins the game itself (National, American or Mother Nature), let’s be thankful that by the weekend we’ll be back into the swing of things again, as it should be at this time of year.