LAS VEGAS — Baseball’s inaugural All-MLB Weekend presented by MGM Rewards is off and running.
Players, former and current, descended on Las Vegas on Thursday to begin festivities ahead of Saturday’s red carpet and All-MLB Team unveiling. The All-MLB Team Show presented by MGM Rewards will air Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on MLB Network.
But the first-of-its-kind weekend formally got underway Thursday with an exclusive dinner at Rivea, a restaurant atop the Delano Hotel overlooking the Vegas Strip. Players signed autographs, and mingled with guests. Among the group of current players on hand were D-backs outfielder Corbin Carroll and right-hander Zac Gallen along with Orioles backstop Adley Rutschman and right-hander Kyle Bradish.
“It’s been cool to see a lot of familiar faces, and hopefully talk with a lot of people while we’re here,” said Rutschman, a favorite for the All-MLB nod at catcher. “We’re playing golf tomorrow. It looks like they’ve just done a great job with everything.”
Indeed, Friday is set to feature a golf outing at the renowned Shadow Creek Golf Course, as further All-MLB nominees arrive in town for a weekend filled with events in the buildup to Saturday’s All-MLB unveiling. This year marks the fifth edition of the sport’s All-MLB Teams, which began in 2019. But it’s the first year with a dedicated show, which is set to take place Saturday at HyperX Arena.
The All-MLB Teams recognize the best player or players at each position across the Majors this past season, with both first-team and second-team selections. (Three outfielders, four infielders, one catcher, five starting pitchers and two relievers make each team.) Fan voting accounts for half of the selection process, with the other 50% coming from a panel of media members, broadcasters, former players and other officials throughout the game.
In addition to the nominees who are on hand in Las Vegas this weekend, a number of former players joined as well. Fred McGriff, Dexter Fowler, Andre Ethier and Bartolo Colon all attended Thursday’s dinner from the top floor of the Delano, chatting with current players and about 30 other guests.
Ethier, the longtime Dodger who lives in Arizona, was particularly pleased to be seated at a table with Carroll — two smooth-swinging, lefty-hitting outfielders talkin’ ball.
“I get to see the newly elected [Hall of Famer] Fred McGriff, which is unbelievable,” Ethier said. “I grew up watching him. And now I’m sitting at a table with Corbin Carroll, so it’s kind of full-circle. It’s just a nice fraternity, all these baseball guys.”
Rutschman, of course, spent the entire summer at the heart of that baseball fraternity, interacting with his fellow nominees on the field. But he was quick to point out the differences of doing so during a weekend like this one.
“Yeah, it’s just a more relaxed environment,” he said. “The offseason, being able to really sit down and relax and enjoy the time, not feeling like you’re pressed before a game to try and talk to guys.”
It’ll be more of the same for Rutschman and Co. on Friday at Shadow Creek, as other nominees arrive. It’s all part of the build-up to Saturday’s main event, which features a red carpet prior to the start of the show. Comedian Roy Wood Jr. will host the show itself, joined by several MLB Network hosts.
“It’s the first one, and it feels like something that’s definitely been missing,” said Ethier. “It’s tough, right? Our season is so long, and as soon as you’re done, everyone wants to disappear.
“But to make this as the All-MLB awards show, a way to bring everybody together and honor that, give a nod to the season, it’s nice, it’s needed. It’s hopefully something that sticks, and it’s for years to come.”