Hemel players watch baseball history unfold at London series
Members of the Hemel Hempstead-based Herts Baseball Club were on the field at the weekend for the first-ever Major League regular season baseball games played in Europe.
The Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees – among the most famous sports teams in the world – played two games at West Ham’s London Stadium over the weekend.
Herts’ under-11 player Riley Manning acted as a mascot for the Yankees in the pre-game ceremonies, where he was paired with one of New York’s top stars, slugger Aaron Judge.
Earlier in the week, he and team-mate Leon Gutowski had the amazing chance to train with some of the most famous past Yankees players – including Alex Rodriguez.
During the week, Herts Falcons’ Carlos Casal Jr and his sister, Herts baseball and softball coach Marianna Casal, were part of the grounds crew preparing the stadium.
Experts had spent weeks laying artificial turf and using tons of American dirt to create the diamond.
Sergeant Jake Caress of the RAF, a former Herts star, was also part of ceremonies, where together with representatives from the Army and Navy, he held the giant Union Jack stretched out on the field.
Dozens of Herts players also attended as fans to see the Yankees win both games.
The club hopes the MLB London Series will give another boost to baseball in the UK and attract more players.