Stay Classic, San Diego: City shines as All-Star host

Stay Classic, San Diego: City shines as All-Star host

SAN DIEGO -- Even by the lofty standards set in the past, this year's Midsummer Classic was, well, a classic.

And with Petco Park's first All-Star Game in the rearview mirror, the national consensus seems to be that San Diego played its role of host to perfection.

"Reflecting on it, it was everything we hoped it would be and more," said Padres president Mike Dee. "... We're ecstatic and really pleased with how things ran. I thought the community came together in a great way."

Complete All-Star Game coverage

The week certainly featured its share of special moments. The T-Mobile Home Run Derby was historic. The All-Star Game presented by MasterCard saw a send-off for Red Sox icon David Ortiz and a pair of hometown heroes delivering on one of the game's grandest stages.

Ortiz exits to standing ovation

Ultimately, the American League walked away with a 4-2 victory. But perhaps the most memorable moment from the festivities came before the game began, when Major League Baseball announced that the award given to the winner of the NL batting title will be named after Tony Gwynn, and the AL title will be named after Rod Carew. Shortly thereafter, a tribute to Gwynn appeared on the video board, prompting chants of "Tony! Tony!" throughout Petco Park.

"There will be great players who do great things that will be a part of the franchise, but there will always only be one Tony Gwynn," Dee said. "For him to be recognized in the way that he was by baseball on that national stage -- not a dry eye in the house."

Gwynn honored at Petco Park

Almost universally, the Padres and San Diego were praised nationally for their job as host.

"I couldn't thank the city of San Diego enough," said All-Star Game MVP Eric Hosmer. "It was unbelievable. They did an unbelievable job of hosting the game here. Everything about the whole experience, especially for my first time, was a dream come true."

2016 ASG pregame introductions

Added Padres left-hander Drew Pomeranz: "The fans were just going crazy since we're here in our home city, especially when they announced both of us [Pomeranz and fellow Padres All-Star Wil Myers]. It was pretty awesome. It's pretty special to have your first one anywhere, but even more so here."

Fans from everywhere seemed to embrace San Diego. The Padres Hall of Fame, which debuted earlier this month, saw thousands of visitors. The streets of downtown were abuzz throughout the week with events, including the Red Carpet parade Tuesday afternoon. And FanFest was such a hit, that it ran out of Myers' No. 4 for customized Home Run Derby jerseys on Saturday.

Myers, Pomeranz on 2016 ASG

Of course, it helps that America's Finest City also boasts one of its finest ballparks, which was packed to capacity with a raucous crowd each of the past two nights.

"It's a treasure for San Diego," Dee said of Petco Park. "And I think that was on full display over this past week."

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.