MLB London Series can 'light baseball fires', says New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone
Last Updated: 28/06/19 4:02pm
New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone is hoping Major League Baseball's debut in London can help grow the sport by 'lighting fires' among new fans in Europe.
The Yankees will renew their historic rivalry with the Boston Red Sox at West Ham's London Stadium in back-to-back games over the weekend.
It will be the first time an MLB game has been played in Europe, and Boone, who had a 12-year career in the league, thinks the event represents a great opportunity.
"If we can light a few more fires with fans, with kids about our game… we're bringing over obviously a lot of great players that are easy to attach to and become big time fans of… and if we can spread that fire just a little bit then it will have been a really good trip for us," Boone said on Friday.
"Because we do have a responsibility to grow our game and to continue to pass it on and hopefully this is something that starts that continuing to grow here in London and England and all across Europe."
The London Stadium has undergone a dramatic transformation to host the matches, with goalposts having been swapped out for a baseball diamond.
Boone admitted that some of the dimensions of the playing area looked "a little different" to what the sides are used to in the US, but remained hugely excited to experience the new environment.
"It seemed really cool," Boone said.
"It feels new and exciting and different. The clubhouse looks great. It looks like they've done a really god job.
"Looking forward to hopefully going out and playing well and giving London a look at Major League Baseball and two historic franchises going at it."