Instead of the usual busy blur of yellow taxis, Major League Baseball fans will have an opportunity on July 16 to see their favorite 2013 MLB All-Stars up close and in slow motion around lunchtime in Midtown Manhattan and nationally on MLB Network as part of the ninth annual MLB All-Star Red Carpet Show presented by Chevrolet.
On that Tuesday, locals and tourists are invited to watch the gradual procession of All-Stars to the 84th Midsummer Classic as they head east on approximately 80,000 square feet of red carpet starting at Bryant Park at 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue and ending between Second and Third Avenues. The 2008 route started at Bryant Park but went up Sixth Avenue.
The free event, which begins at 1 p.m. ET, is scheduled to feature all the MLB All-Stars riding in the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado trucks. Jim Leyland and Bruce Bochy, the American League and National League All-Star managers, respectively, will lead their teams down the carpet in Camaro convertibles.
"Think of shots of players arriving on buses underground with headphones on walking to the clubhouses -- and then think the exact opposite," said MLB executive vice president of business Tim Brosnan, sitting next to 2013 All-Star official spokesperson David Wright of the host Mets during Wednesday's All-Star Balloting kickoff event at City Hall.
"David and I were just talking about the last time [the All-Star Game was] in New York, and the estimates were a million and a half people came out to see the show. ... When the stars are out, it's like arriving for the Oscars. It's a huge community event, and it's made bigger by coming down one of the most famous streets in the world. And the fact is, anyone who wants to participate can."
Brosnan said any grand marshals would be announced at a later date. Based on the presence of Yankees legends Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford serving in that capacity for the 2008 parade, one can easily speculate on such Mets favorites as Tom Seaver or Mike Piazza.
"We're going to try to make everything absolutely as spectacular as it can be," Brosnan said. "For us, for Major League Baseball, it's the events that everybody can touch that are equally as important as events in the ballpark."
Wright has ridden six times in the back of All-Star trucks, and he would love to be in this parade. "New York knows how to throw a party," he said.
The Red Carpet Show started in Detroit for the 2005 All-Star Game and was an immediate hit, growing in popularity along the way. You think about the Clemente family being grand marshals in the lead vehicle when the 2006 parade crossed over the bridge named after the great Roberto, on the way to PNC that day. It is always fun watching All-Star with their families on board the vehicles, tossing goodies into the crowds, letting everyone be involved.
With the outcome of the All-Star Game again determining which league will have home-field advantage in the World Series, the World Series Trophy crafted by Tiffany & Co. will be on display as part of the MLB All-Star Red Carpet Show. The trophy usually brings up the rear, sort of like Santa in the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York.
The All-Stars' families appreciate the chance to spend more time with the players, and in the past two years, MLB incorporated an on-site team of fashion and beauty experts to dress a group of players' wives exclusively for the Red Carpet. Gift bags also give it that Oscars feel.
"It's cool to be out there and have the fans kind of yelling at you, screaming at you, waving at you," Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton said. "They want to throw balls at you, but it's fun. It's part of the whole celebration, and I enjoy it."
The 84th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. Pregame ceremonies will begin at 7:30 p.m. ET. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB.com, MLB Network and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.