Major League Baseball showcased its stars during the annual 2018 all-star break. Players have a grueling 162 game schedule. The all-star weekend gives them time away from a schedule that changes day to day.

Prior to the headline game, the home run derby took place.

The Washington Nationals hosted the event. Nationals star Bryce Harper walked away with the trophy against Chicago Cub’s left fielder Kyle Schwarber in the final round. Harper hit a 440-foot home run that sealed the deal for a 19-18 victory.

Harper, who is currently rumored to be on the trading block, spoke in a press conference after the event.

“We have some of the best fans in all of baseball,” Harper said. “To be able to do that with all my family out there, that’s an incredible moment. Not only for me, but the Nationals organization.”

In the featured all-star game, the American League took down the National League for the sixth consecutive year. Harper struck out in his two plate appearances in front of the home crowd.

The game went into extra innings. In the 10th inning, players from the 2017 World Series Champion Houston Astros team, Alex Bregman and George Springer, hit back-to-back solo homers that started and finished the AL’s rally to an 8-6 victory.

Bregman is from Albuquerque.

Controversy on social media sites has been stirred up because the MLB maintains a rule requiring a minimum of one player being represented from all of the thirty team’s in the league to be involved in the All-Star game. This leaves out several players on better teams because of this rule.

Once considered America’s passtime, Major League Baseball has fallen off with fans. From the player strikes, the PED controversies and the slower pace of the game, the MLB has found themselves behind the NFL and NBA in television ratings.

Kids are not seen playing “stick ball” on city streets every day the way they were in the 50’s or 60’s. The sport has become less appealing to young athletes today. All-Star weekend remains a way for the MLB to promote their stars and remind fans how great the game is.