It is an endless parade that started appropriately enough in the Motor City, crossed the Clemente Bridge outside Pittsburgh's PNC Park, wound through the piers alongside San Francisco Bay, steamrolled up Manhattan's Avenue of the Americas, careened alongside the Arch and visited Disneyland.
Now it is time for hot wheels.
Major League Baseball fans will have an opportunity on July 12 to see all the 2011 All-Stars up-close on the streets of Phoenix -- and on television nationally on MLB Network -- as part of the seventh annual MLB All-Star Red Carpet Show presented by Chevrolet. MLB All-Star Ambassador Luis Gonzalez, whose hit in Game 7 gave the D-backs a world championship 10 years ago, will ride in the lead vehicle as Grand Marshal.
Locals and tourists are invited to watch the procession of All-Stars to the 82nd Midsummer Classic as they make their way down approximately 1,750 feet of red carpet, stretching one-third of a mile from the corner of First Street and Jefferson Street down Fourth Street, and ending at Chase Field.
The event started in Detroit for the 2005 All-Star Game and was an immediate hit, growing in popularity along the way. You think about the Clemente family being Grand Marshals in the lead vehicle when that 2006 parade crossed over the bridge named after the great Roberto, on the way to PNC that day. It is always fun watching All-Stars with their families on board the vehicles, tossing goodies into the crowds, letting everyone be involved.
This one will begin at noon Phoenix time, and it is scheduled to feature all the All-Stars riding Chevrolet Silverados. In addition, NL manager Bruce Bochy from the Giants and AL manager Ron Washington from the Rangers will lead their teams down the carpet in Chevrolet Camaro convertibles. MLB Network personalities Greg Amsinger, Hazel Mae and Harold Reynolds will host the event's national telecast at 4 p.m. ET and an abbreviated version at 7:30 p.m. ET.
"The MLB All-Star Red Carpet Show presented by Chevrolet is another way for baseball fans to experience the All-Star Game up close and take away a memory that will last forever," said Tim Brosnan, MLB executive vice president of business. "We encourage fans to come out and cheer on the best players in the game as they make their way to Chase Field for the 82nd Midsummer Classic."
"We are excited the MLB All-Stars will ride in style in Chevrolets for the seventh year in a row," said Phil Caruso, the manager of Chevrolet National Promotions. "Watching the MLB stars will be a memorable experience for baseball fans around the world who catch the All-Star Red Carpet Show."
With the outcome of the All-Star Game again determining which league will have home-field advantage in the Fall Classic, the World Series Trophy crafted by Tiffany & Company will be on display as part of the MLB All-Star Red Carpet Show. The trophy usually brings up the rear, sort of like Santa in the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York.
During last year's parade, Giants closer Brian Wilson said, "It's sweet, the crowd gets into it. This kind of time is for the fans, it's for us to just showcase and have a good time. They get to watch and get involved."
As part of the ongoing commitment by Major League Baseball to environmental sustainability, MLB is working with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), implementing measures to reduce the event's environmental footprint. For this event, players will travel on a red carpet made from 100 percent post-industrial recycled yarn. The Chevrolet Silverados will have E85 ethanol capability for the players and their families.
The 82nd Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet, Sportsnet HD and Le Reseau des Sports, and around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 8 p.m. ET. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage.