04/28/2006 4:15 PM ET
Pittsburgh Pirates host 2006 All-Star Week, including 77th MLB All-Star Game
All-Star Week opens with All-Star FanFest at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center on July 7
The Pittsburgh Pirates will host the 77th All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 11, 2006 at PNC Park. The 2006 Midsummer Classic marks the fifth time the Pirates franchise and the City of Pittsburgh have hosted the All-Star Star Game.
The 2006 All-Star Week festivities will begin on Friday, July 7 with opening ceremonies for the 16th annual All-Star FanFest. The extremely popular interactive baseball theme park and largest baseball fan event in the nation, is making its return to Pittsburgh. All-Star FanFest debuted in Pittsburgh in 1994 and the return marks the first time an All-Star FanFest has made a repeat visit to one city. The event will be open daily through July 11 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
All-Star FanFest is an unrivaled experience with activities and exhibits designed for families and fans of all ages. The event will transform nearly 400,000 square feet at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center into a celebration that captures the thrills and excitement of Major League Baseball with more than 40 interactive activities and historical exhibits such as life-size video batting and pitching cages, free autographs from Pirates players, Hall of Fame players and Major League Baseball legends, youth skills clinics taught by current and former MLB players and much more.
This year, MLB and the Pirates are teaming with the Tickets for Kids Foundation to provide underprivileged youth from the greater Pittsburgh-area with an opportunity to take part in all the fun and excitement of All-Star FanFest. Through the Tickets for Kids Foundation, individuals and/or organizations can purchase and donate All-Star FanFest tickets in exchange for a variety of All-Star gifts, including tickets to the 2006 All-Star Game.
The on-field festivities begin at PNC Park on July 9 with Taco Bell All-Star Sunday, including the XM Satellite Radio All-Star Futures Game featuring top prospects from Minor League Baseball and the Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game.
Gatorade All-Star Workout Day will take place on Monday, July 10. This is the fans' first chance to see the 2006 All-Stars as they take batting practice. The highlight of the day is the CENTURY 21® Home Run Derby, which will be televised live nationally on ESPN. Net Proceeds from Gatorade All-Star Workout Day, expected to total more than $3 million, will be donated to charitable efforts supported by Major League Baseball and the Pittsburgh Pirates as part of the All-Star Legacy program.
Ameriquest In-Stadium and Monster.com Online All-Star Fan Balloting will begin on Friday, April 28th and the Ameriquest In-Stadium All-Star Fan Balloting program will launch with a special pre-game ceremony at PNC Park. The Major League Baseball All-Star Balloting Program, the largest balloting program in professional sports, consists of Major League and Minor League in-stadium balloting and online balloting at MLB.com sponsored by Monster.com, as well as retail balloting at Wal-Mart stores sponsored by Pepsi and Frito Lay balloting in six foreign countries and Puerto Rico through MLB International. Last year's top vote getters were David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox (4,138,141) and Derek Lee of the Chicago Cubs (3,560,316).
This season marks the fifth Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Pittsburgh, with the Pirates previously hosting the game in 1944, 1959, 1974 and 1994. In 1944, the city of Pittsburgh hosted the 12th All-Star Game at Forbes Field. The National League snapped a three-game losing streak that year, winning the Midsummer Classic 7-1. Phil Cavarretta of the Cubs set an All-Star Game record by reaching base safely in five plate appearances. In 1959, the All-Star Game became a double feature when a new, two-game format was adopted. The first All-Star Game was played in Pittsburgh on July 7th and Los Angeles hosted the second game on August 3rd. Willie Mays of the San Francisco Giants hit a game winning triple in the 8th inning to rally the National League to a 5-4 victory at Forbes Field.
In 1974, Three Rivers Stadium hosted its first All-Star Game. The National League won its third consecutive Midsummer Classic (7-2) in what would become an 11-game winning streak. Pirates pitcher Ken Brett picked up the victory for the National League. The 1994 All-Star Game remains one of the most exciting finishes in baseball history. Before a crowd of 59,568 at Three Rivers Stadium, Fred McGriff of the Atlanta Braves blasted a pinch hit two-run home run in the bottom of the 9th inning to send the game to extra innings. In the 10th inning, Moises Alou of the Montreal Expos doubled home the winning run to give the National League an 8-7 victory, snapping its six-game losing streak.
The 77th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pre-game ceremonies beginning at 8:00 p.m. (EDT). ESPN Radio will provide exclusive, national radio coverage, while MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage and MLB Radio will provide exclusive play-by-play coverage of the game on the Internet. XM Satellite Radio will provide satellite radio play-by-play coverage of the XM Satellite Radio All-Star Futures Game.