CLEVELAND -- The logo for next summer's Midsummer Classic is a celebration of stars and six-strings, an amalgamation of Cleveland's identity both as the capital of rock and roll and the host of the 2019 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard.Major League Baseball and the Indians unveiled the logo -- a
CLEVELAND -- The logo for next summer's Midsummer Classic is a celebration of stars and six-strings, an amalgamation of Cleveland's identity both as the capital of rock and roll and the host of the 2019 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard.
Major League Baseball and the Indians unveiled the logo -- a guitar image bordered by baseball stitching -- on Tuesday as the first official order of business in anticipation of the sport's 2019 summer showcase, which will take place at Progressive Field next July 9. It is an image intended to illustrate that, in sound and in sport, Cleveland rocks.
"You can look at this particular mark, and you can hear it," said MLB vice president of design Anne Occi. "You can hear the excitement, how big it is. You can hear the fans roar."
They'll be roaring at baseball's 90th All-Star Game, the sixth hosted by the Indians. That's the most of any single franchise, and this distinction will be celebrated in other theme art associated with the event, utilizing the six strings of a guitar to mark the years (1935, '54, '63, '81, '97, 2019) in which Cleveland has hosted.
"We're going to be the focal point of baseball for that week," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "For that, I'm thrilled for the city of Cleveland."
The Indians had six All-Stars -- third baseman Jose Ramirez, shortstop Francisco Lindor, outfielder Michael Brantley, pitchers Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer and catcher Yan Gomes -- at this year's All-Star Game at Nationals Park in Washington. They hope to have similar representation in 2019 -- perhaps with a similar result to 1997, when Tribe catcher (and current first-base coach) Sandy Alomar Jr. hit the game-winning home run for the American League and won the MVP honor.
"It's always extremely special anytime you get to share the clubhouse with those superstars," Lindor said. "I can't wait for everybody to come to our house."
The 2019 game will also be a celebration of the 25th anniversary of Progressive Field. The ballpark, then known as Jacobs Field, was but a baby the last time the All-Star festivities came to town, and the logo at that time highlighted the so-called "toothbrush lights" that are a signature aspect of the facility.
This time around, the goal of the logo, which is emblazoned upon many a piece of merchandise now available at the Progressive Field Team Shops and MLB.com, was to capture an element of the city's culture.
"The Indians' goal was very specific -- to celebrate Cleveland as the birthplace and spiritual home of rock and roll," Occi said. "If you look back over the history of rock and roll, you see your favorite bands in very specific typefaces. We devised and created a unique type style that had the flavor of that genre."
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, placed in Cleveland in part because of the belief that disc jockey Alan Freed coined the term "rock and roll" on local station WJW, opened on the shore of Lake Erie just one year after Jacobs Field's debut. The success of the Indians in the 1990s and the arrival of the rock hall were considered key components of a downtown renaissance at the time.
Today, the Indians are again established as one of the most successful franchises in the AL, and baseball's jewel event is part of another upswing in national attention, which included the 2016 Republican National Convention, and a sort of finishing touch to the Progressive Field renovation project that took place in 2015 and '16.
"We have worked tirelessly to preserve and enhance Progressive Field," Indians owner Paul Dolan said. "We see this All-Star Game as a thank you to our community, which has helped us enhance this facility."
At Tuesday's logo unveiling, MLB Deputy Commissioner Tony Petitti said the club's "tremendous enthusiasm" played a role in the selection of Cleveland as the 2019 host site, and Cleveland mayor Frank Jackson highlighted the impact the event will have on the local economy.
"There's always spin-off from having a national and in some cases international event," Jackson said. "You have people come, visit, fill up hotels, restaurants -- you get the national exposure. This will add to that."
Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince.