Stars in their eyes

Gavin Newsom remembers watching baseball’s superstars when the All-Star Game last visited The City. That was 1984, when the current mayor was 16.

“This is as good asit gets,” Newsom said Friday at a ballpark press conference as the Giants unveiled the logo for the 2007 All-Star Game to be held at AT&T Park. “It’s about those early childhood memories, about sharing that sense of community, everybody across every conceivable difference, in a stadium … to enjoy a game and a good time.”

The Giants have hosted the All-Star Game twice before — 1961 and 1984, both wins by the National League. The 1961 game might be one of the more memorable Mid-Summer Classics as Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Orlando Cepeda and Roberto Clemente came through in the bottom of the 10th inning for a 5-4 victory.

“You can’t think of three better players to actually finish an All-Star Game than those three,” Major League Baseball president Bob DuPuy said of the hits by Aaron, Mays and Clemente, all eventual Hall of Famers.

The official logo — designed by San Francisco graphic artist Michael Schwab, who has also lent his award-winning style to designs for the Golden Gate National Parks Association — shows a ball being hit over the right-field wall and making a splash hit into McCovey Cove. The game will be played July 10, 2007.

The All-Star Game is not only popular with baseball fans, but also city leaders and members of the tourism industry because the event draws hundreds of thousands of people to the nearly weeklong event, as well as worldwide media attention to the host city. The 2007 All-Star Game in San Francisco is expected to fill over 15,000 room nights in The City and generate more than $50 million in economic activity.

San Francisco and the Giants have played an important part in All-Star history, DuPuy said.

“Willie McCovey hit two All-Star Game home runs in 1969. Willie Mays made 24 All-Star Game appearances,” DuPuy said.

MOST ALL-STAR GAMES

With the 2007 All-Star Game coming to San Francisco, the Giants franchise will match the record for most times hosting the Mid-Summer Classic. The Cleveland Indians (1935, ’54, ’63, ’81 and ’97) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (1944, ’59, ’74, ’94 and 2006) hold the record. The Giants hosted at the Polo Grounds in 1934 and ’42 and at Candlestick Park in 1961 and ’55.

beslinger@examiner.com

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