This weekend marks the first time Major League Baseball has ever played regular season games in the United Kingdom. The Yankees and Red Sox will meet up in a battle of the people who beat the British against the people who expelled the British all right in front of the British, some of who claim to have been baseball fans all along.
The event has obviously created a lot of buzz —
MLB announces Prince Harry will be attending Saturday’s game— Erik Boland (@eboland11) June 28, 2019
— some confusion —
PA announcer at London Stadium: 'And remember, if you catch ball in the stands you can keep and take it home!'— Rob Bradford (@bradfo) June 28, 2019
— and a wee bit of very uncharacteristic British chaos —
There will also be a flurry of other recognizable MLB people and events coming along:
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.
But it won’t all be unfamiliar to potential British audiences. MLB has made some accommodations for their new viewers, tweaking some of the regular season traditions to give the games more local flavor. Here are some key details.
Location: London Stadium
Dates & Times: June 29: 10:10am Pacific | June 30: 7:10am Pacific
Where to watch: June 29: Fox Network | June 30: ESPN
U.S. National Anthem: June 29: Brennan Huff & Dale Doback of Prestige Worldwide | June 30: Last year’s runner-up on The Voice
U.K. National Anthem: June 29: The girl who walked in on her dad’s TV interview | June 30: Rick Astley
First pitch: June 29: Dame Judi Dench | June 30: Idris Elba
Third base: Paul McCartney
Second base: The hot priest from Fleabag (aka Moriarty from Sherlock)
First base: Mr. Bean
And behind home plate will be London calling balls and strikes.
Promos & Key Art
James Anthony Patrick Carr is a stand-up comedian, presenter, writer, and actor who holds both British and Irish citizenship. He is known for his deadpan delivery, dark humour, and heckler interaction.
This might be a fun diversion from the norms, but let’s see how two jetlagged teams who under normal circumstances drag out a nine inning game to 4+ hours fare across the pond. It might not be a great product.
Still, it’s hard to predict how this game will be perceived by either country. A more accurate prediction, however, is this: most people have not seen ATTACK THE BLOCK.