Yankees Sweep Bosox in London, Racking Up Runs Like Cricketers
Is anyone really surprised that historians have suddenly dug up a forebear of baseball in England right about the time MLB staged its two-day event in London?
It just warms the left cockle of a seamhead's heart to now know that the Prince of Wales and Earl of Middlesex did some hand-whacking in 1749 and called it bass-ball.
So it shouldn't be a surprise that the first two MLB teams called upon to show the folks in Jolly Olde what the game's become today represent cities that have English roots themselves:
- The original York is a few hours up the A1 from London, and
- The original Boston is about an hour less up the A1 in Lincolnshire.
Turns out the Norse ancestors from Yorkshire woulda been Viking proud.
The New York Yankees humored Boston's Red Sox for a few innings here and there while they hit them for six, claiming both games in gobsmacking fashion.
- Only French artificial turf would suffice;
- Same with American dirt, 345 tons of it; and
- Fence padding from Canada topped it off.
OK, the contractors did buy local for one item.
Dudes ran England outta chicken wire after 53,000 square feet were used to protect the stadium lights.
The quirk that most figured would factor into high-scoring games -- the 385ft distance to center field -- really didn't, but for whatever reason, breaking balls weren't biting like pitchers expected.
The bash-a-thon was on.
Saturday's game featured the second-most runs ever scored in the 2200-plus times these teams have played, with the Yankees claiming a 17-13 victory:
Estimates were that 85% of the fans in the stands were English, so they were well-accustomed to witnessing 30 runs in a couple of hours. That's like watching the opening session of a cricket match where the batsmen are working at taking the shine off the ball.
No doubt those fans were overjoyed to see the concessions vendors roaming the aisles. That's just not done in England.
So it's safe to say the locals were definitely stoked for the Sunday game.
Seems like the Bombers were, too, pounding out more big innings in their 12-8 comeback win to sweep the series:
There's a deep list of firsts and factoids for this series, but the coolest one is this:
Former Seattle Mariner and current Yankee Edwin Encarnación has become the first player rostered on an MLB team to play on three continents in the same season.
Dude opened the 2019 campaign in Japan with Seattle and, in Saturday's game, became the first MLB player to fan five times in six ABs while his teammates were ringing up 17 runs.
MLB has staged games in countries where baseball's popular -- yes, even Australia -- which means the London series has broken new ground.
Two sold-out games with all the trappings surrounding them have now led to other non-traditional baseball cities -- Berlin, Düsseldorf, and Amsterdam have been mentioned -- to inquire about hosting an event.
What's certain is -- in the weekend's aftermath -- the crew at London Stadium's gonna roll up the turf, collect the dirt, grab the padding, and put it all in a warehouse until next year.
That's when the Chicago Cubs and St Louis Cardinals come to town.
I know you, you know me.— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) June 30, 2019
London 🇬🇧 2020 pic.twitter.com/YSpDbVqm3E
Looks like someone's trying to put the bass back into baseball.