The 2015 Midsummer Classic: An I-70 World Series Preview?

The Royals and Cardinals will battle for World Series home field advantage in the Midsummer Classic

The Royals and Cardinals will battle for World Series home field advantage in the Midsummer Classic

As the early returns are coming in from ballots boxes (I mean the Internet) for the 2015 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, experts are projecting that this game is shaping up into a preview of a potential rematch of the 1985 I-70 World Series.

As the votes are being tabulated, it looks like the first place Kansas City Royals, the reigning American League Champions and the first place St. Louis Cardinals, the defending National League Central Division Champions, are on a collision course to meet head on in the 2015 Midsummer Classic, at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Ignoring their small MLB market size, the Cardinals (#18) and Royals (#25), fans decked out in Cardinals Red and Royal Blue have made a big early push for their boys, as these two small market teams, from the Show-Me state dominate the early voting for the 86th Midsummer Classic.

The upstart Kansas City Royals, lead the way in the early returns with the American League’s two top vote getters, catcher Salvador Perez (1,447,753) and outfielder Lorenzo Cain (1,376,271).

Rounding out the Royals’ potential All-Star roster are third baseman Mike Moustakas (1,261,769) and shortstop Alcides Escobar (1,191,268). In the running to make the starting lineup is Royals’ outfielder Alex Gordon (991,606) who joins Cain as one of the top three vote-getting outfielders. Reigning AL MVP Award winner, Mike Trout (1,297,085) would join them in the lineup if the voting ended today.

Kansas City’s first baseman Eric Hosmer (1,101,738) could pull an upset not seen since Harry Truman defeated Dewey, as Hosmer trails the Detroit Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera by only 245,613 votes.

The Royals could have five starters for the All Star game, with four others that could still break into the lineup or find themselves on the bench. If Chicago Democrats can consistently get dead people to polls to vote, surely the Royals can get their rabid fan base to stuff the ballot boxes to stack the American League lineup with their hometown Royals.

Speaking of Royalty, just 248 miles, east of Kansas City on the I-70 corridor is Busch Stadium, the home of the St. Louis Cardinals, the most storied franchise in National League History, winners of 11 World Championships, 19 Pennants and 27 Playoff Appearances.

If the voting closed today, the Cardinals would have four players in the National League starting lineup and that doesn’t include Kolten Wong who is close enough to pull up another upset in this year’s All-Star voting.

The Cardinals’ team leader, perennial Gold Glove catcher Yadier Molina (859,520) has the early lead over Giants Buster Posey. CNN (Cardinal Nation Network) is calling the race too close to call.

The race is already over at third base. Cardinals’ third baseman Matt Carpenter (1,113,000), has the overall second highest vote totals and is well ahead of the Chicago Cubs’ rookie Kris Bryant (583,583). They could keep the polls open in Chicago until Christmas and Bryant wouldn’t be able to catch Carpenter this season, but the young phenom is already campaigning for next season.

At shortstop, Cardinals’ Johnny Peralta (595,741) is in a neck-and-neck race with the Cubs’ Starlin Castro (571,574). Matt Holliday (979,008), trails the Washington Nationals’ Bryce Harper (1,116,582), he’s well ahead of all the other outfielders in the National League so you can write his name in the starting lineup with ink.

The Royals can boast of their American League Championship title and their one World Series Championship in 1985, that was allegedly stolen from the Cardinals that season. For those who are old enough to remember the missed call by umpire Don Denkinger in Game Six of the Fall Classic.

The Royals got their World Championship that season, but Royals fans know deep down in their subconscious that they are just the “other” team in Missouri, living in the October shadows cast by Busch Stadium, because the Gateway to World Championships lies in St. Louis.

When the first pitch is tossed out on July 18th, in Midsummer Classic, if the voting trends continue, the All Star Game will be the Cardinals against Royals, a battle royal, if you will, with the winner throwing the first punch by getting home field advantage for the looming 2015, I-70 Showdown World Series.

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