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Updated: May 8, 2018
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(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photos by Henk Seppen)

Yankees and Red Sox come to London in 2019

LONDON, England (United Kingdom) - New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, the two most famous teams from the Major League, will play two regular season-games next year in London!

...Didi Gregorius...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
That was announced today (Tuesday, May 8) during a meeting on the British capital by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Tim Slavin, Chief of Business Affairs of the Major League Baseball Players Association. The Red Sox were represented by Principal Owner John W. Henry and the Yankees by Managing General Partner/Co-Chairperson Hal Steinbrenner and General Partner/Vice Chairperson Jennifer Steinbrenner Swindal. There also were some of their former players, including Hall of Famer Dave Winfield (Yankees). Mayor Khan is the lone Mayor of an European city who threw a ceremonial first pitch during a regular season-game in the Major League.

The Yankees and Red Sox will face each other on June 29 and 30 next year in London Stadium, which was the site of the Opening and Closing Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games, as well as the track and field discplines. The stadium will be configured for baseball with a capacity of 55,000.

It was announced that the agreement is for two years, which means that two Major League-teams also will travel to London in 2020.

,,Major League Baseball is excited to be bringing one of the most storied rivalries in sports to the passionate fans of London. In our ongoing efforts to grow baseball, there is nothing as impactful as bringing live games and our talented players to fans. This is our most significant endeavor ever in Europe and we look forward to showcasing Major League Baseball in one of the world's great cities'', said MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred during the announcement.

...Xander Bogaerts...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
With the coming to London by the Yankees and Red Sox, two players of the Netherlands Kingdom Team, can be seen close to home for many Dutch fans. Didi Gregorius (New York Yankees) and Xander Bogaerts (Boston Red Sox) participated with the Orange squad in last years World Baseball Classic.

In previous years, Hoofddorp (near Amsterdam) in the Netherlands also was mentioned several times as a possible playing site. In 2014, the beautiful stadium was officially opened at the brand new and very nice site of Hoofddorp Pioniers in Hoofddorp. During the opening, MLB announced that it would use the facility for future try-outs and Academy Tournaments, which was indeed done. In 2011, a bidbook was handed in to MLB to organize regular season-games at the new site in Hoofddorp. Two years later, the Municipalities of Haarlemmermeer and Amsterdam joined forces hoping to realize an 'Amsterdam Series' in the future at the Hoofddorp-stadium.

In recent years, regular season-games from the Major League were played in Japan and Australia. Earlier this season, games were played in Puerto Rico and Mexico. For the first time, MLB-games can now be seen also in Europe.

,,This is great for baseball that teams of this level will come to Europe'', KNBSB Executive Director Bart Volkerijk stated in De Telegraaf-newspaper on May 8. ,,Of course, we had hoped that the first games would be played in the Netherlands. But we have to be realistic that for games with these kind of teams, which is the top of the Major League, big stadiums are needed. Otherwise, this is not possible. And we don't have such a facility. We only can embrace this initiative of Major League Baseball. It will be good for the development of the sport that two games will be played in an Olympic stadium. In the meantime, we will have to continue to work hard in order to get these kind of games also to the Netherlands.''

(May 8)

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