London Series attracts over 100,000 fans, continues success & global growth of baseball
10/06/2024 2 Minute Read

London Series attracts over 100,000 fans, continues success & global growth of baseball

"It wasn't just a dream," commented MLB Europe through their X account. The Philadelphia Phillies won the first game, 7-2, while the Mets got the second, 6-5. Former superstars Daniel Murphy and Chase Utley took baseball to Trafalgar Square.

The 2024 Major League Baseball (MLB) London Series attracted 108,956 fans at London Stadium during the weekend as the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies split the two-game series. Philadelphia outscored New York 7-2 on Saturday, 8 June, and the Mets won the rubber match 6-5 the following day.

The latest installment of the London Series continued on the success of the series, which first started in 2019.

In game one, the Phillies got to the Mets with a six-run fourth at-bat. Superstar Bryce Harper homered off starter Sean Manae to tie the game at one and made the headlines with a soccer Premier League celebration.

Harper had previously made the headlines advocating the case of MLB players competing in the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics.

The Phillies added four two-out hits, including a three-run homer by left fielder White Merrifield to open the score. They wouldn't need to look back. Left-hander Ranger Suarez pitched 5.2 solid innings to collect his 10th win of the season.

The Phillies took a 4-3 lead into the second game's ninth. Their closer, José Alvarado pitched a wild ninth. He allowed two hits, two walks and hit a batter. The Mets scored three runs and took the lead.

Philadelphia tried a late comeback and put the potential winning run at second. With the bases loaded and one out, Drew Smith took the Mets out of the jam as he got right fielder Nick Castellanos to ground into a double play, which started with a brilliant play by catcher Luis Torrens.

The Phillies lead MLB's National League East with a 45-20 record, while the Mets (28-36) are in fourth place.

Former Mets star Daniel Murphy defeated Chase Utley, who helped the Phillies win the 2008 World Series, in a mini Home Run Derby organized in Trafalgar Squadre, the heart of London.

The Cage is a unique augmented-reality home run derby that blends virtual gaming with real baseball action. In front of the batting cage was a screen that awarded players a number of points depending on how far the ball travelled.

Murphy and Utley didn't compete alone. Alex Gray and Montell Douglas, known as Apollo and Fire in the British TV series The Gladiators, participated on behalf of Sport Relief, which supports vulnerable people and communities in the U.K. and worldwide.

"We're in the middle of London, at an iconic, historic place, and now we've set up baseball here, it's great," commented Utley.

It was the third edition of the London Series, following the inaugural series in June 2019 between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees and the 2023 series between the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals.

The London Series became the third stop of the MLB World Tour 2024 after the Seoul Series in March and the Mexico City Series in April.