What do Winston Churchill, Freddie Mercury, Henry VIII and the Loch Ness Monster have in common?
They are not only some of the most recognizable names from British lore, they will also be prominently featured during the London Series between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, as Major League Baseball is pulling out all the stops in bringing America’s pastime across the pond for games Saturday and Sunday.
“We’re going to do a race, the way it’s done with the presidents at Nationals Park,” Jim Small, senior vice president of Major League Baseball’s international business, told ESPN. “What we did is we ran a contest with our social media and those were the four winners, and they’re going to race. That shows the wonderful humor that exists there.”cheap nike nfl jersey
The Presidents Race is held at every Washington Nationals home game in the middle of the fourth inning, and it’s one of the best-known in-game entertainment events across MLB, alongside other mascot competitions such as the Milwaukee Brewers’ Racing Sausages.
Another popular race that will be making its way to London Stadium involves “The Freeze,” who will be competing against a fan in a foul-pole-to-foul-pole race along the warning track at London Stadium, the way the Atlanta Braves “superhero” has been doing in his iridescent powder-blue bodysuit since 2017.cheap nfl jerseys china nike
“In-game, we are going to do some things that we know we need to do to teach the game. We’re going to have a live announcer that will explain the little nuances that go into a baseball game,” Small said. “On the scoreboard, instead of R-H-E, it will say ‘Runs,’ ‘Hits’ and ‘Errors’; we can’t assume everybody will know what R-H-E is. We’re going to do an homage to what we do, and how special it is to go to a major league game. We’re going to have the crew do the Y-M-C-A [routine, to the classic Village People tune] the way they do at Yankee Stadium, and we are going to play ‘Sweet Caroline’ [as they do at Fenway Park].
“But it’s important to strike a balance. There is a hardcore baseball fan base in the U.K., and they badge themselves proudly as baseball fans. They stay up late to watch our games. … For the hardcore baseball fan, this gives them a chance to validate themselves.”
These are among the details MLB has learned in its forays into nontraditional baseball venues — that it needs to teach fans little things that people who grew up around baseball take for granted, such as being able to hold on to any ball that makes its way into the stands.
“When we played in ’93, a perfect example was there was a foul ball in the stands and they threw it back,” Murray Cook, MLB’s senior field coordinator and consultant, said. “Because that’s what they do in cricket, they play with the same ball the whole game. It had to be announced that you get to keep the baseballs. Same thing happened in Australia. We informed people if the balls go into the stand you can have them, don’t throw them back in the field. It’s a souvenir.”