Dusty Baker on All-Star game move: ‘This is what Hank would have liked’

Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker  signals as he walks to the mound to change pitchers during a game late last season. (AP Photo/Roger Steinman)
Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker signals as he walks to the mound to change pitchers during a game late last season. (AP Photo/Roger Steinman)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker said his longtime friend and former teammate Hank Aaron would have supported Major League Baseball’s decision to move this season’s All-Star game out of Georgia because of the state’s new voting law.

“This is what Hank would have liked, even though it’s in his town,” Baker told reporters Friday. “He always had the rights of the people in the forefront of his mind and in his heart.”

Baker, who was a pallbearer at Aaron’s funeral in January, was pleased that MLB said it will continue with plans to honor Aaron at the relocated All-Star game. And he suggested that perhaps the game could be moved to the city where Aaron began and finished his major-league playing career.

“I think it’s great that the league’s going to properly honor Hank Aaron, no matter where the game is played,” Baker said. “I’ve even thought about possibly it might be Milwaukee since that was Hank’s first and last stop, but nobody (from MLB) has said anything about it yet.”

Aaron played for the Milwaukee Braves from 1954 through the 1965 season. The Braves franchise in 1966 relocated to Atlanta, where Aaron played through the 1974 season. He finished his career with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1975-76.

MLB is “finalizing a new host city” for the All-Star game and will announce the site “shortly,” baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement Friday. The game had been scheduled for July 13 at Truist Park.

ExploreThe AJC's complete coverage: Atlanta loses the All-Star Game

Within hours of the decision to move the game out of Georgia, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett wrote to Manfred asking that his city be considered as the new site, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

“It is a particularly appropriate location to honor Hank Aaron, who is a revered and beloved former Milwaukeean,” Barrett wrote.

Baker, who played for the Braves from 1968 through 1975, commended MLB’s decision to move the All-Star game and related events.

“My opinion is that it’s a positive move by Major League Baseball to support voting rights,” Baker said. “That was a pretty big and bold move by baseball. I’m proud of the fact that they stood by the voting rights of people.”

In Other News