For the first time since 1969, DC is hosting MLB’s All-Star Week—and featuring three of our own in Tuesday’s All-Star Game: Bryce Harper, Max Scherzer, and Sean Doolittle (though sadly, Doo won’t pitch in Tuesday’s game, as he’s on the disabled list due to a foot injury). Even if you’re not able to go to the game, there are tons of MLB and non-MLB events around the District where you can celebrate baseball films, books, fashion, beer, artifacts, and more.
THURSDAY, JULY 12
FILM Get in the baseball spirit with a free screening of the 1989 film Field of Dreams on the North Lawn of the Library of Congress’s Thomas Jefferson Building. Starring Kevin Costner, it follows an Iowa corn farmer who builds a baseball diamond in his fields. Free (registration recommended), 8:30 PM.
PHOTO OPPS Yards Park and Canal Park will be peppered with inflatables starting on Thursday, including eight-foot baseballs repping all MLB teams and two 12-foot baseball gloves. Get some striking new photos for your Insta feed with these massive installations as a backdrop. Through Wednesday. Free.
FILM Enjoy a screening of the classic female-dominated baseball movie A League of Their Own at the Yards Park Great Lawn. Starring Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, and Madonna, the film tells a fictionalized history of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Free, sundown.
FRIDAY, JULY 13
CONVENTION The All-Star FanFest, which runs throughout All-Star Week at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, is the largest interactive baseball theme park in the world. You can meet MLB legends, participate in baseball clinics, check out artifacts from the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, and join in the Home Run Derby VR Competition. Each day will feature a different theme and giveaways, including tickets and Nationals bobbleheads. Through Tuesday. 9 AM – 8 PM daily (closes at 7 PM on Tuesday). $35, with discounts for children, seniors, and military.
KIDS The 2018 PLAY BALL Park, located at the Yards Parcel A (at the intersection of First and M Streets SE), will be an interactive area with activities for youth baseball and softball players. Most of the programming will come from partners (like USA Baseball, USA Softball, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America), although there will also be “FREE PLAY” hours throughout the schedule. Through Tuesday. Free with registration. 10 AM – 10 PM Friday and Saturday; 10 AM – 7 PM Sunday and Monday; Noon – 7 PM Tuesday.
GAME The pros don’t hit the field until early next week, but the MLB honors servicemen and -women in the inaugural Armed Services Classic at Nationals Park on Friday night. This co-ed softball tournament is made up of teams of active duty personnel from each of the five military branches; the two teams that advance from the preliminary rounds will compete in the Championship Game. After the game, a representative from each branch will participate in a Military Home Run Derby. Free (tickets required), 7 PM (gates open at 5 PM).
FASHION MLB Assembly at the Wharf will celebrate baseball with art, fashion, and music, featuring a rotating roster of designers, musicians, and athletes. There are a few special events throughout the event’s run, such as a DJ set from Wale on Friday night and a Sunday morning panel discussion about art, music, and fashion through the lens of baseball. Through Monday. Register for tickets.
BEER Bluejacket (and friends) are getting in the All-Star spirit with a five-day All-Stars of Craft Beer event at five different bars. Bluejacket will release a new DC-themed can of beer on Friday night. On Saturday, ChurchKey celebrates the NL East with 25 different craft beers on draft from breweries in Philadelphia, New York, Atlanta, Miami, and DC. Drink Belgian all-stars at the Sovereign on Sunday (think: Cantillon), then keep it local on Monday with DMV breweries (such as Burley Oak and the Veil) at EatBar. Wrap up this five-day stint on Tuesday at The Partisan with sours from breweries like Crooked Stave and Oxbow. To make the five-day run more fun, pick up a MVPassport at Bluejacket on Friday and get an all-star jersey if you drink a full pour at each location. Through July 17. Beer prices vary.
SATURDAY, JULY 14
RUN Exercise and get doused in color during the Color Run MLB All-Star 5K, which starts next to Nationals Park and loops across the Anacostia River. Come early and enjoy the pre-race starting line party with music, dancing, and giveaways. $42.99-$47.99, 8 AM.
MUSEUMS In conjunction with its “Baseball Americana” exhibition, the Library of Congress is hosting a Baseball Americana Family Day at its Thomas Jefferson Building. Baseball-themed events include a clinic on vintage baseball rules (from the 19th century), the play Black Diamond about pioneering African-American baseball players, and a discussion by MLB historian John Thorn about the origins of the modern rules of baseball. Free (registration recommended), 10 AM – 2 PM.
BOOKS Geek out with baseball writers Keith Law and Jay Jaffe at Politics & Prose on Saturday evening. Law, a writer for ESPN Insider and an analyst for ESPN’s Baseball Tonight, has written about how a new wave of statistics can be used in the sport, including WOBA (weighted on-base average) and WPA (win probability added). In his book, Smart Baseball: The Story Behind the Old Stats That Are Ruining the Game, the New Ones That Are Running It, and the Right Way to Think About Baseball, he argues that historically-trusted stats are no longer reliable. Jaffe, a baseball writer for FanGraphs, also analyzes player stats in his book The Cooperstown Casebook: Who’s in the Baseball Hall of Fame, Who Should Be In, and Who Should Pack Their Plaques. Free, 6 PM.
SUNDAY, JULY 15
GAMES Official MLB All-Star Week games start on Sunday with the Futures Game and the Legends & Celebrity Softball Game at Nationals Park. The Futures Game features minor league prospects, set up in teams as USA vs the World. The Legends & Celebrities game features celebs from all disciplines, such as actor Jamie Foxx, MLB analyst (and former MLB All-Star) Carlos Peña, musician Brian Kelley of Florida Georgia Line, and—surprisingly—Bill Nye the Science Guy. Local athletes will also be there: Washington Wizards point guard John Wall and Redskins corner Josh Norman will round out the lineup. $60-$280, 4 PM (gates open at 2 PM).
MONDAY, JULY 16
COMPETITION Watch Bryce Harper and other stars crush some home runs at Monday’s Home Run Derby. The field’s other competitors are Jesús Aguilar (Brewers), Rhys Hoskins (Phillies), Freddie Freeman (Braves), Max Muncy (Dodgers), Alex Bregman (Astros), Javier Baez (Cubs), and Kyle Schwarber (Cubs). The Home Run Derby’s bracket is set up as a head-to-head competition, with Harper facing Freeman in the first round. Harper’s dad is scheduled to throw to him in the competition. $240, 8 PM.
DISCUSSION East City Bookshop is pulling together an all-star panel of baseball experts and writers to talk about baseball past and future. Speakers include Society for American Baseball Research member David Rapp, DC baseball expert Fred Frommer (author of You Gotta Have Heart: A History of Washington Baseball from 1859 to the 2012 National League East Champions), and filmmaker Aviva Kempner (whose 1998 documentary The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg won a Peabody award). The panel will be moderated by Kent State University history professor Leslie Heaphy, co-editor of the Encyclopedia of Women and Baseball and vice president of the Society for America Baseball Research. Free, 6 PM.
TUESDAY, JULY 17
GAME The 89th MLB All-Star Game is on Tuesday night at Nationals Park; Tickets are available only on the resale market, so your best bet for watching these players is on TV. 8 PM.