It's a close call whether the All-Star Game or the World Series quickens the pulse more among dyed-in-the-wool baseball fans. The All-Star Game counts for nothing; the World Series counts for everything. But there's more real baseball talent on the field in the All-Star Game, even this year when the American League squad is overpopulated (unfairly) with last year's champions, and a few genuine all-stars are unhappily taking the day off. No one will quibble if this year's Series is played here in Camden Yards, but until then Maryland fans can revel in the best of inter-league baseball.
When three baseball greats throw out the first ball this evening, the national pastime will shine its brightest. For once the setting lives up to the event: Oriole Park at Camden Yards is everyone's choice as the all-star ballpark. Baseball mania reigns in the area around the ballpark, all the way to the Inner Harbor. Record numbers of fans have flocked to FanFest and a variety of outdoor activities. Much of the hoopla was orchestrated by major league baseball, but state, city and Orioles officials deserve credit for what an immensely successful six-day festival attracting tens of thousands of local fans. Can there still be any doubt about the drawing power of a first-class sports event here? National Football League officials take note.