MLB

‘Fantastic experience’ promised as MLB returns to London this summer

By Sports Desk March 19, 2024

Former World Series champion Chase Utley has promised a “fantastic experience” when Major League Baseball returns to London this summer.

The 2024 MLB season officially gets under way on Wednesday with a two-game series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres in Seoul before the regular season begins on March 28.

This summer, on the weekend of June 8-9, the latest MLB London series will take place when the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies go head-to-head in England’s capital.

London Stadium will host two matches between the sides in what will be the third time the sport has been taken to Britain after previous series in 2019 and last year.

Utley, who helped Philadelphia claim 2008 World Series success, said: “You’ll have the Phillies and Mets, two fantastic teams, two rivals in the same division.

“They’ve been rivals for around like 70 years and you’ll see some of the best players in the world.

“You’ll see fireworks, activities on the field in between innings, live music, you’ll have American-standard baseball food, which consists of hotdogs, nachos and burgers!

“Overall, it’s just a fantastic experience.”

Utley was in Brent Cross last week at The 108, a state-of-the-art dedicated indoor baseball facility, and put England white-ball captain Jos Buttler through his paces before he learned some of the key principles of cricket.

 

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A post shared by Jos Buttler (@josbuttler)

 

The sporting crossover occurred due to cricket heading across the pond this summer when the T20 World Cup is hosted in America and West Indies during the same time of the latest MLB London series.

Former second baseman Utley retired in 2018 and splits his time between the United States and his new London home as part of his ambassador role for MLB Europe.

The 45-year-old feels cricket is slowly starting to break through in the USA, adding: “It’s probably as much as baseball penetrates here in the UK, so a bit, yes.

“Here, obviously football, from what I’ve seen in a short amount of time, is the sport that for sure everyone watches and then cricket is second place to that.

“In America, you have American Football and then you have basketball or you have baseball that are kind of bounced back and forth.

“It’s exciting to see that cricket is going to the United States to play because I’ve seen some amateurs playing in the park. You’re starting to see it more and more over the last few years that I was there.”

The next goal for Utley is to actually watch a cricket match live after brushing up his knowledge with Buttler last Wednesday when the meaning of ‘Bazball’ alongside the difference between Test and white-ball cricket was discussed.

“I’ve watched a fair share but I still haven’t seen it in person,” Utley said.

“At some point I need to see it in person. I’ve watched it on TV and it took me a little while, but I imagine it’s the same for watching baseball.

“It takes you a while to understand the nuances, the terminology and actually what is going on in the moment, but once you can wrap your head around it and make some sense, it’s very entertaining.”

New York Mets will play Philadelphia Phillies in the MLB World Tour: London Series 2024 on June 8-9 at London Stadium. Tickets are on sale now at ticketmaster.co.uk/MLB

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