After Major League Baseball announced last week that it’s moving the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta, it didn’t take long for Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett to make his pitch.
On Friday, Barrett sent a letter to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred offering up Milwaukee as a possible replacement site. Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley joined the effort with a letter to Manfred on Saturday.
“For me, it made all the sense in the world, and it continues to make all the sense in the world,” Barrett said.
Officials say Milwaukee is an appropriate place to host a game honoring the late Hank Aaron, who played most of his career in Wisconsin. Aaron’s first MLB team was the Milwaukee Braves, and he ended his career as a Brewer.
“I wanted (MLB) to know that we would be very, very excited here in Milwaukee to be honoring Hank Aaron because there still is so much love in this community for him,” Barrett said.
The league is moving the All-Star game in response to a restrictive voting law passed in Georgia.
“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box,” Manfred said in a statement.
Aaron, who faced death threats and abuse as he chased and eventually broke Babe Ruth’s homerun record, was a civil rights icon.
Brewers pitcher Brent Suter said he thinks it would be “incredible” to host the All-Star Game in Milwaukee, both to honor Aaron’s legacy and to make up for missed opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Milwaukee was set to host the Democratic National Convention last year before it went virtual.
“I think it would be really exciting for us as a team, us as an organization and the whole community at large,” Suter said.
Brewers Aim To Crush COVID-19 With Vaccine Campaign
On Monday, Suter also discussed his decision to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Suter suffered from flu-like symptoms for about 10 days when he had the illness earlier in the pandemic, and he wouldn’t wish it on anyone, he said. He discussed the vaccine with doctors before opting to get the injection, he said.
“Wearing the masks, the distancing was trying to curb (COVID-19),” Suter said. “Now we can beat this thing.”
Pitcher Freddy Peralta was also vaccinated over the weekend. He hopes it’ll mean he can eventually spend more time with his family and his teammates off the field, he said.
A “sizable segment” of the Brewers roster received Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose inoculation, said President of Baseball Operations David Stearns.
Stearns wouldn’t go into specifics about how many players were vaccinated, but in a video from the team, first baseman Keston Hiura and outfielder Christian Yelich also discussed why they opted to get the shot at a clinic for players and staff.
Across the country there’s concern a fourth wave of the virus could emerge among young people who aren’t vaccinated, Barrett noted. He’s hopeful that seeing professional athletes — who make a living by taking care of their bodies — will encourage others to step up.
“I just think that it sets such a positive example,” he said. “I am very, very grateful to all the players who are getting the vaccination.”
On Monday, Wisconsin expanded its vaccine eligibility to everyone over age 16.