The last time the District played host to the midseason romp for one of the major sports leagues was in February 2001, when the NBA All-Star Game came to what was then known as the MCI Center. Now Major League Baseball is bringing its All-Star Game to Nationals Park. To mark the occasion, venues around Washington are putting on events that chronicle the people, places and things that make up the fabric of America’s pastime.
The big screen has given the sport worthy representation, and the American History Museum is hosting a film festival with such hardball classics as “The Pride of the Yankees” and “Field of Dreams.” The highlight takes place Friday: A double feature of “Sugar” and “42” is preceded by a panel about U.S.-Latino baseball culture, featuring former all-star pitcher Luis Tiant and former Montreal Expos and New York Mets general manager Omar Minaya.
Through Sunday. Friday’s panel discussion begins at 6:30 p.m. American History Museum, 1300 Constitution Ave. NW . $20-$123.
Japan is one of the few countries that can rival the United States’ passion for the sport: The island nation provides a steady pipeline of players continuing their careers in the majors — there was a grass-roots effort to get Ichiro Suzuki, arguably the country’s all-time best player, to compete in this year’s Home Run Derby. Learn through historical objects and artifacts how baseball has been used as a diplomacy tool since World War II. Through Aug. 10. Japan Information & Culture Center, 1150 18th St. NW, Suite 100. Free.
Ballpark food has evolved beyond a basic hot dog and cheap domestic beer. If you’ve been to a game at Nationals Park, you might have noticed the “Taste of the Majors” concession stand that highlights the visiting team’s native delicacies. The American History Museum will host a chat about the regional foods of baseball, with a focus on Northeast teams. Friday from 1 to 2 p.m. American History Museum, 1300 Constitution Ave. NW. Free.
Learn about key facets of America’s pastime at this family-friendly event. The day will start outside with a demonstration of how baseball was played in 1864 with the Diamond State Baseball Club, a Delaware team of 19th-century-baseball reenactors. Other highlights include a play about pioneering African American baseball players, a batmaking lesson and a talk with the official historian of Major League Baseball, who will discuss the original 1857 documents that set the foundation for the modern game. Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Library of Congress, 101 Independence Ave. SW . Free.
The days of kids memorizing stats and trivia from the back of a baseball card might be long gone, but what if they saw themselves on the front? The Smithsonian American Art Museum promises a hands-on day for kids to create their own baseball collectibles with do-it-yourself cards and pennants. Themed music will be playing as you munch on popcorn, Cracker Jack and other ballpark food available for purchase. Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Kogod Courtyard at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Eighth and F streets NW. Free.
Get close to Nationals Park without paying the costly price of admission. Yards Park will host a weekend-long sandlot party for the whole family with live music; food and drinks; baseball-themed activities; and a mix of classic backyard games like bocce and mega-size versions of Scrabble and chess.
Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m., Sunday from 1 to 10 p.m. Yards Park, 355 Water St. SE. Free.
There are a lot of questions about how long baseball’s popularity will last as games drag on, tickets and concessions get more expensive and the sport struggles to connect with a diverse, young audience. This event at the Wharf seems designed to get those younger people back in the mix. Highlights include art from local tastemakers No Kings Collective, style showcases from Willy Chavarria and other rising names in fashion, and performances by hip-hop legend DJ Jazzy Jeff and one of the hottest young rappers, BlocBoy JB.
Through Monday. Friday from noon to 10 p.m., Saturday to Monday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. District Pier at the Wharf, 1100 Maine Ave. SW. Free with RSVP.