Royals, MLB unveil 2012 All-Star logo

Royals, MLB unveil 2012 All-Star logo

Royals, MLB unveil 2012 All-Star logo
KANSAS CITY -- When the Royals host the 2012 All-Star Game, it will mark 39 years since the Midsummer Classic has been in Kansas City. A lot has changed in that time, including a $250 million renovation to Kauffman Stadium. One thing that's stayed constant, though, is the summer heat.

So on Tuesday, as Major League Baseball got ready to unveil the logo for the 83rd All-Star Game, there was one quick change to make: the location of the presentation. Originally scheduled to take place on the field at Kauffman Stadium, the news conference was moved indoors, to avoid the 107-degree heat.

On hand for the unveiling were MLB executive vice president of business Tim Brosnan, Royals president Dan Glass, Kansas City mayor Sly James, Jackson County executive Mike Sanders and Royals manager Ned Yost, as well as a host of Royals All-Stars, past and present.

"On behalf of the 29 Major League Clubs, on behalf of commissioner [Bud] Selig, I have to tell you we could not be prouder to bring the All-Star Game to Kansas City," Brosnan said. "And on a special note, to bring the All-Star Game to the Glass family, which has worked selflessly on behalf of Major League Baseball and on behalf of the Royals to keep the Kansas City baseball tradition alive and thriving here in Kansas City."

The logo suggests the recognizable shield shape of the famous Kauffman video board, and is topped with a gold crown bearing the year "2012."

Next year's game, which will be played on July 10, 2012, will mark the third time Kansas City is hosting the All-Star Game -- and the second time for the Royals. The old Kansas City Athletics hosted the first of two All-Star games played in the summer of 1960, back when two were played each year.

The Royals were host to the 1973 game, the team's first year of play at Royals Stadium, which is now Kauffman Stadium. That game featured 21 current members of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Aaron Crow, the Royals' 2011 All-Star representative and two-time All-Star Joakim Soria were at the unveiling, along with former Royals All-Stars Frank White, Kevin Seitzer, Jeff Montgomery, Willie Wilson and the starting first baseman in the 1973 game, John Mayberry.

Being able to start that game in front of the hometown fans was a special experience for Mayberry, who got the starting nod after elected starter Dick Allen was injured.

"The fans gave me a great reception. I was having a pretty good season and got a hit and everything," he said. "I really had a great time."

Sanders said he still remembers watching that game -- a 7-1 National League victory -- and seeing Mayberry lace a double. As much as the game will showcase the stadium and city to the world -- and even with the estimated economic impact of more than $60 million -- he thinks the experiences are what will make the game special.

"Those memories, because it's such an event, those memories of that game, of this game, the game of baseball, are forever burned in peoples' minds and in their memories," Sanders said. "Here I stand now, 39 years later, talking about a double. I still remember how excited I was and my family was, as a kid, watching that game on TV."

Glass has good memories of that game, too, as it marked his first trip to Kansas City.

"Just walking into this brand new facility, and modern design and the fountains and all that, it's probably the most unique thing I've seen in following baseball," he said of the 1973 game.

James was full of praise for the ballpark and Royals fans, and is excited for the multitude of visitors -- over 240,000 fans visited events at Chase Field in Phoenix for the 2011 All-Star Game -- who will experience Kansas City.

"Between the fountains in the outfield, the barbeque and the jazz, I don't think fans are going to want to leave Kansas City," he joked. "So we'll have to build a new hotel to house them while they're here."

On a more serious note, James thanked the players for being great ambassadors for the city.

"Thank you for being Kansas City Royals, and representing this city in the way that it should be represented, each and every day that you go out there and play," he said. "We really appreciate that."

The presentation also featured a video message from 13-time All-Star and Royals vice president of baseball operations George Brett, who was away on a family vacation.

For many players, the All-Star break is just three days of much-needed rest. Yost said going to the All-Star Game never had any appeal for him until 1996, when he was a coach with the Braves and former Atlanta manager Bobby Cox invited Yost to be on the All-Star staff. He said it was a "unique experience."

"Not only as a coach or as a player, but as a dad," Yost said. "To be able to take my kids to the All-Star Game, for them to sit and watch the Home Run Derby, for them to go to the Fan Fest, for us to go to the gala. The fans of Kansas City, I'm so excited for them for next year, for the experience of the entire week of programs that go on, it's going to be amazing."

Brosnan said the scope of the events and promotions will span the whole summer.

"The All-Star Game, which used to be a one-day event, has now turned into what we call All-Star Summer," he said. "We will spend the better part of spring and summer highlighting the history of baseball in Kansas City, the history of the Midsummer Classic."

Now that the logo is unveiled, much more of the planning for the 2012 game will commence, as MLB works together with the Royals to organize the festivities. It doesn't go too far to say everyone involved is ready to get started.

"So for 39 years, we've been in the on-deck (circle), waiting to hit," Sanders said. "But Kansas City, it's now our turn at the plate. Let's play some ball."

Adam Holt is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.