DENVER (KDVR) — Just a few blocks from Coors Field, at the National Ballpark Museum, you’ll find mementos from some of baseball’s greatest moments.
The museum also demonstrates how, at moments, the sport has played a role in American political history.
“The first thing that comes to mind is Jackie Robinson and breaking the racial barrier,” said National Ballpark Museum Founder Bruce Hellerstein.
The Museum has many of displays showing players of different ethnicities.
Now, Major League Baseball is taking a stand on voting rights concerns by moving the All-Star game from Atlanta to Denver.
The sport has been closely chronicled by baseball historian Jay Sanford of Arvada who said baseball and politics should be kept separate.
“Baseball has been a way of bringing people together. Historically the sport has done that for generations. Blacks and whites have sat together in stands going back 120 years, so it’s been a way of bringing people together and now it’s becoming divisive,” said Sanford.
Sanford said he’s glad the game is coming but doesn’t like the politics that brought it here.
But some say politics have always been part of the game, recent flare ups over team names are one example.
“With the logos and the discussion about the appropriateness of logos for sports and kneeling with the National Anthem These have all become high profile ways to make statements and communicate your ideas of what’s right and wrong,” said Metropolitan State University Professor and Chair of Political Science Rob Preuhs.
The Super Bowl and NBA All-Star Game have also been moved before for political reasons.
Denver now finds itself in a major showdown with rivals facing each other both on and off the field.