Phillies

Phillies set to host 2026 MLB All-Star Game at Citizens Bank Park

Phillies set to host 2026 MLB All-Star Game at Citizens Bank Park

MLB made official what has long been known: Citizens Bank Park will host the 2026 All-Star Game to commemorate America’s 250th birthday.

A press conference was held at Independence Hall Tuesday afternoon to officially announce it.

"I'm here to make official one of the worst kept secrets in America," MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said jokingly. "The 2026 All-Star Game has been awarded to the Philadelphia Phillies and the city of Philadelphia."

The 1976 All-Star Game was also held in Philadelphia to celebrate the bicentennial. In 1996, the All-Star Game came to the Vet. 

Manfred delivered a heartfelt and emotional thank you to Phillies chairman David Montgomery.

There was also a personal component to [the announcement]. In the last 30 years, one of my best friends in baseball has been David Montgomery, the chairman of the Phillies. He's been a mentor, a friend, an adviser and I can say without hesitation, I would not stand here as the commissioner of baseball were it not for David Montgomery.

In those 30 years, Dave never asked me for a favor, for the Phillies or for himself. But almost two years ago, he began asking me whether we could announce a 2026 All-Star Game here in Philadelphia and whether we could announce it really soon. He didn't do that for himself, he didn't even really do it for the Phillies, he did it for the fans here in Philadelphia.

My only regret about today is that David is unable to be here with us today and I hope all of you will join me in wishing David and his family well.

This will be Citizens Bank Park’s first All-Star Game. The Phillies hadn’t really pursued previous All-Star Games during the ballpark’s existence because of the plan to hold it here for another milestone in the nation’s history. 

Philly is also a potential host city for the World Cup in 2026 — which will be more than halfway through the 13 years of Bryce Harper’s contract — so you might want to start setting aside some dates that summer.

Harper was one of the current Phillies on hand. He spoke toward the end of the press conference and finished with: "Of course, let's go Phillies. Ring that bell, baby, let's go!"

NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jordan Hall contributed to this story.

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No jitters for Bryce Harper, just an RBI, a stolen base and a little 'glam'

No jitters for Bryce Harper, just an RBI, a stolen base and a little 'glam'

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Everybody's stomach is a little different.

So while Jake Arrieta had a few butterflies before his first start of the spring Tuesday, Bryce Harper's pulse barely quickened.

"Kind of the opposite," Harper said, comparing the feel of his spring debut to Arrieta's. "Spring training is kind of spring training. I don't want to get too high or anything like that. I just want to get out there, stay healthy and compete. When I get to opening day, there's your jitters."

Harper played five innings in right field. He came to the plate three times. He drove home a run with a sacrifice fly in his first at-bat and later walked and struck out. He also stole a base.

What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time, Harper was still a free agent, mulling offers from the Phillies, Giants and Dodgers. He chose the Phillies on the final day of February and camp exploded with excitement. Back in Philadelphia, the team sold 180,000 tickets within 48 hours of Harper's agreement with the team.

This year, things are a lot different for Harper. He has become a dad. And his hair is a lot longer.

"I'm going to keep it going," he said. "Yeah, keep it flowing. Why not? We'll see what happens."

Harper, of course, isn't the only one in camp with a new look. His pal, the Phanatic, unveiled his on Sunday.

"Hey, man, everybody needs a glam-up sometimes, you know?" Harper said. "Why not? I've got long hair right now. I'm always changing."

The general atmosphere around camp is also different than it was a year ago. Though there's a real sense of faith that the Phillies will improve under new manager Joe Girardi, there's none of the euphoric buzz that accompanied Harper's signing. The attendance for Tuesday's game against Toronto in Clearwater was just 4,004. It was a split-squad game for both teams.

Harper is OK with a calmer spring.

"It's definitely different coming into camp," he said. "It's good knowing I'll be here the next 12 years, a lot more calm, not as crazy, not as many cameras. I'll enjoy that and just get ready for the season."

Harper's spring goal:

"Just be healthy," he said. "Take good routes in the outfield, throw the ball well out there, have good at-bats."

Haseley in protocol

Centerfielder Adam Haseley left the game in Clearwater after hitting his face hard on the ground while attempting a diving catch. Haseley suffered a cut on his forehead, caused by his sunglasses. He was seen walking and talking in the clubhouse after the game but was unavailable for comment to reporters because he had been placed in concussion protocol. His condition will be updated on Wednesday.

The games

Arrieta gave up a single, a walk and a three-run homer in the first inning, but he enjoyed a quick second inning. He admitted to some nerves in the first inning but settled in after that. At this point of camp, all that matters with a starting pitcher is health and Arrieta feels good after having his elbow surgically cleaned out late last season.

The Phillies lost the Clearwater game, 13-6, despite a grand slam from minor-leaguer Jhailyn Ortiz. The Phillies signed Ortiz for $4 million as a 16-year-old out of the Dominican Republic in July 2015. He hit just .200 at Single A Clearwater last season but had 19 homers and 65 RBIs in 430 at-bats.

Catcher J.T. Realmuto gunned down a runner trying to steal second base from his knees.

In Bradenton, the Phils beat the Pirates, 6-2. Lefties Ranger Suarez and Damon Jones both pitched two scoreless innings. 

The victories left the Phillies at 3-1-1 in exhibition play.

Zach Eflin starts Wednesday against the Twins in Fort Myers.

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Phillies Talk podcast: Can Roman Quinn change complexion of Phillies' lineup?

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Phillies Talk podcast: Can Roman Quinn change complexion of Phillies' lineup?

Joe Girardi is already impressed by Roman Quinn, who could significantly alter the Phillies' lineup if he can win the CF job. Ricky Bottalico and Corey Seidman discussed on Tuesday's Phillies Talk podcast.

• How Roman Quinn could change the complexion of the lineup.

• Can Andrew McCutchen be an effective leadoff man if the knee forces him to go station to station?

• How much a fast runner can mess with a pitcher's head.

• Phillies pitchers making clear (without saying it) what they thought of Chris Young and Gabe Kapler.

• Whose side are you on with the Phanatic lawsuit?

• Expectations for Scott Kingery in Year 3.

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