MLB players begin reporting for tests as first workouts near (copy)

The bronze statue entitled "The Player," by sculptor George Lundeen stands in front of the main gate of Coors Field, home of Major League Baseball's Colorado Rockies, in this Associated Press file photo. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment approved a variance the team applied for that will allow 12,500 fans, or 25% capacity, into the stands starting when the season starts April 1 against the defending World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Major League Baseball All-Star game is coming to Denver for the first time since 1998, according to multiple reports. An official announcement is expected to be made on Tuesday. 

The game was originally scheduled to take place in Atlanta, but Major League Baseball officials chose to change the venue after the state passed new laws that critics say restricts voting access.

"Major League Baseball fundamentally supports and opposes restrictions to the ballot box," Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement when he announced that the game would be leaving Atlanta, adding later, "We proudly used our platform to encourage baseball fans and communities throughout our country to perform their civic duty and actively participate in the voting process. Fair access to voting continues to have our game's unwavering support."

The new laws in Georgia include restrictions on voting by mail along with limiting ballot access and locations where people can drop off a ballot. It also made it a misdemeanor for groups to pass out food or water for voters waiting in line. 

The All-Star festivities will consist of the Home Run Derby, All-Star Game and the amateur draft, which will be held in conjunction with the game for the first time. Attendance at Coors Field is currently capped at 42.6% following state protocol, but that could potentially increase before July. 

The Home Run Derby should be as exciting as it was in 1998 when the 19 home runs hit by the Seattle Mariners' Ken Griffey Jr. earned him top honors, including three in the final round to beat Cleveland's Jim Thome. 

This game could also be a homecoming for former Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado, who was traded in the offseason to the Cardinals. Arenado made five consecutive All-Star appearances for the Rockies from 2015-2019.  

The last time the All-Star Game was in Denver, the American League defeated the National League 13-8. 

The All-Star game was canceled last season after the season was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. That game was scheduled to be held at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. 

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