Major League Baseball to bring star-studded Home Run Derby to Hyde Park

Fri 2 Jun 2017

MLB Hyde Park British Summer Time Festival BST

Major League Baseball is planning to host an exciting Fourth of July party in London on the British Summer Time Hyde Park music festival site, mixing baseball, street food and music and culminating in a Home Run Derby featuring former stars from the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers.

The free event, called MLB Battlegrounds, will run from 5.00-10.00 pm on American Independence Day, and will climax with a Home Run Derby on the Main Stage featuring former MLB players Carlos Pena, Cliff Floyd and Shawn Green along with US women’s softball stars and UK sporting heroes.

The Home Run Derby is traditionally a feature of MLB’s All-Star Weekend, where participants battle to hit the most home runs against the clock.

Charlie Hill, Managing Director of MLB Europe, said: “This represents an exciting statement of intent to grow Major League Baseball in Europe.  Hyde Park is the perfect location to bring a flavour of our game to London, with players from two of the most popular teams in the sport – the Red Sox and the Dodgers – set to provide a night of big hitting on the Main Stage.”

British engagement

BaseballSoftballUK is working with MLB on plans to engage the British baseball and softball community in the event, and details will be announced shortly.

BSUK CEO John Boyd said: “This is an exciting opportunity for our sports to reach the general public, and the event will continue to garner national press interest, particularly with regard to plans that MLB has to bring a Major League game to London in the future.

“For the British playing community,” John added, “this event offers us a valuable chance to interest potential players and generate local publicity alike.  It helps that this falls on American Independence Day, offering opportunities for organisations across the country to celebrate the land in which our sports matured, as well as the important part this country played in the history of the sports – because after all, their roots are British!”

Music and more

MLB Battlegrounds will also bring the music of Boston and Los Angeles to the July 4th celebrations, just days after North American stars Justin Bieber and Green Day headline the Hyde Park Main Stage.  In addition, visitors to the event can take part in a world-exclusive immersive VR baseball experience, where they will pick a side – Boston or L.A. – then play to win.

The MLB VR Batting Cage will get its first outing the weekend prior to 4th July, at POP Brixton, where MLB Battlegrounds will be hosting an event on 30 June and 1 July.

British Summer Time Event Director Jim King said: “We're delighted to welcome MLB to Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park for what is set up to be the best 4th July party in London this summer.  As a huge fan of baseball, it's going to be incredible to see the batters hit home runs from the Great Oak Stage.”

For more information about the free events that MLB is staging in London this summer, please visit mlb.com/battlegrounds, @MLBUK on Facebook or head to @mlb_uk on Twitter and Instagram.

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