PITTSBURGH -- Perhaps the most aesthetically pleasing aspect of PNC Park is the way the Pittsburgh skyline, the city's bridges and the Allegheny River serve as a picturesque backdrop to the playing field.The same features that have made the "Jewel of the Allegheny" arguably the most beautiful Major League park are featured prominently in the 2006 All-Star Game logo, which was unveiled at a press conference held by Major League Baseball and the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday. The 2006 All-Star logo, designed by renowned local artist Burton Morris, the official artist of the 2006 MLB All-Star Game, in conjunction with Major League Baseball, captures PNC Park's club-level views, and adds a few artistic touches. Two gold bats, outlined in black, form the first and third base lines before crisscrossing at home plate, which is covered by a black and gold MLB logo. Covering the playing field are gold letters outlined in black which spell out "All-Star Game." A gold star serves as the dash between "All" and "Star." Above that is a red "2006," separated in the middle by "MLB" in white. The Pittsburgh skyline, the Allegheny River and the Roberto Clemente Bridge fill out the top half of the primary logo, while the U.S. Steel Building, the tallest skyscraper in Pittsburgh, fittingly sneaks just above the logo's outline. "I think it's definitely got the Pittsburgh flair to it," Pirates CEO and managing general partner Kevin McClatchy said. "Today is a significant day in the sense that when you unveil the logo, it's really the changing of the guard from one All-Star city to another," McClatchy added. "[The 2006 All-Star Game] is a great opportunity of the Pittsburgh Pirates and the fans of Pittsburgh to show off PNC Park. I think in a bigger way it's an opportunity for the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County to show itself off to America. We've got a great city." During the official unveiling, Major League Baseball president and COO Bob DuPuy discussed the impact that the 2006 All-Star Game will have on the region. The 2005 All-Star festivities drew 250,000 fans to the city of Detroit and had a worldwide television, radio and Internet audience of 100 million fans. "The All-Star Game has turned into an enormous celebration of baseball and will be a celebration of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County and the state of Pennsylvania," said Dupuy. Dupuy also noted that more than $3 million was raised for local and national charities during the 2005 All-Star festivities. "What we try to do is make a lasting imprint back on the community," Dupuy said. The local politicians on hand for the official unveiling welcomed the opportunity to show off the city and region to a worldwide audience. "This is going to be a very big day for Major League Baseball, a big day for Pittsburgh and also a big day for the region," said Allegheny County chief executive Dan Onorato. "The national attention will once again be on our little corner of the world. "There are a lot of people working to make sure this is the best All-Star [Game] that Major League Baseball could possibly want," said Onorato. "We want to make sure the audience that shows up and the audience watching on TV gets to see the real Pittsburgh region." Tom Murphy, Pittsburgh's mayor since January 1994, noted the progress the city has made since last hosting the Midsummer Classic in 1994. "When you look out [here] at the two new fields that we have -- Heinz Field and PNC Park -- that didn't exist back then, the new convention center and really a host of other buildings that weren't even in existence back then ... it is pretty remarkable," said Murphy. "We are very excited about showcasing the city once again." On Tuesday night, the logo will be publicly unveiled at PNC Park during an on-field ceremony prior to the Pirates' game against the San Diego Padres. McClatchy will be joined by Murphy and Onorato for the ceremony. In addition, past and present Pirates All-Stars -- including Jason Bay, Steve Blass, Bob Friend, Dave Giusti, Al Oliver, Manny Sanguillen, Kent Tekulve, Frank Thomas, Bob Walk and Jack Wilson -- will help unveil a 23-by-20 foot logo display in right field. All fans attending Tuesday's game will receive a window decal of the primary 2006 All-Star Game logo. In addition to the primary 2006 All-Star Game logo, an alternate logo, secondary logo and uniform patch were also created. The alternate logo is almost identical to the primary logo except that the white "MLB" lettering is replaced by the word "Pirates," which is written in the script that adorns most officially licensed Bucs items. The secondary logo is similar to the primary and alternate logos, but in a rectangular shape and without words covering the playing field. Above the drawing is "Pittsburgh '06" written in black lettering. Below the drawing is "All-Star Game" in black lettering, and a black and gold rendition of the MLB logo. The uniform patch that will be worn by participants in the 2006 All-Star Game will incorporate the "MLB 2006 All-Star" lettering, gold bats and black and gold MLB logo of the primary logo.
Ed Eagle is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.