The MLB World Tour: London Series returned to the United Kingdom in 2023 for the first time since the inaugural London Series in 2019. Featuring the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals, the Series saw more than 110,000 fans pack the London Stadium in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for the two games.

As part of the London Series, the Greater London Authority, Britain’s baseball governing and development bodies – the British Baseball Federation, British Softball Federation and BaseballSoftballUK – and MLB developed a range of initiatives to help bring baseball to more people and locations, ensuring that the impact of the games lasted long after the final out. These initiatives formed the MLB London Series Legacy Programme.

The MLB London Series Legacy Programme’s mission is to harness the power of MLB's presence in the UK to bring the game of baseball into the mainstream, by furthering participation for young people, developing a strong pathway for elite players, building the infrastructure necessary to create a lasting legacy from the London Series and generating a lifetime interest in the sport in the UK. The programme of activities is designed to promote physical and mental health/wellbeing, with a particular focus on engaging young people and under-served communities across the United Kingdom. The programme work is delivered by MLB Europe, BaseballSoftballUK, the Greater London Authority, LS185 (the operating company for London Stadium) and consortium partners.

2023 MLB London Legacy Programme

The Legacy Programme launched with the MLB First Pitch programme in primary schools, ramping up capacity before the 2023 games. In 2023, More than 330 primary schools delivered the entry-level baseball programme to more than 14,000 students, with 50 of the schools in London. First Pitch was highlighted in the lead-up to the London Series with three First Pitch Festivals, held in Cardiff, Sheffield, and in London on the Thursday before the games. With more than 850 young people attending the three Festivals and 86 volunteers assisting in the delivery, the First Pitch Festivals were a celebration of baseball, both for the upcoming MLB games and the grassroots community in Great Britain.                       

The National Baseball & Softball Complex at Farnham Park, was one of the focal points of the Legacy programme, playing host to the MLB Field Clinic with MLB’s Field Expert Murray Cook delivering a two-hour field maintenance tutorial to attendees from grassroots clubs. Just before the Series, 90 of Europe’s best young players converged at Farnham Park for the MLB European Development Tournament, showcasing their skills for numerous MLB scouts in attendance.

In the lead-up to the London Series, BaseballSoftballUK assisted MLB and CSM in recruiting volunteers for the Games, known as the MLB Diamonds. More than 350 people were engaged through the Diamonds programme, with a further 25 selected for specific workforce roles within the games. The MLB Diamonds were an integral part of the Series operation, with many invited back for the 2024 games.

The Legacy Programme picked up steam in the days before the series, with London becoming the focal point. On Wednesday, 21 June, Herts Baseball Club in Hemel Hempstead hosted a youth clinic win partnership with the MLB Players Alumni Association, with more than 60 youth players participating. In addition to the First Pitch Festival held in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Thursday, 22 June, BaseballSoftballUK hosted a Coaches Clinic at the Last Drop next to London Stadium on Friday, 23 June, with the MLB PAA, giving British grassroots coaches the opportunity to learn from MLB veterans Jake Arietta and David Eckstein.

On Friday, 24 June, the focus turned to Ranelagh Primary School in East London. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, with dignitaries from both the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs Charities, along with former players Albert Pujols, Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard, announced a $35,000 donation to the school for their own baseball diamond. The Ranelagh pupils played an important part in the ceremonies, introducing the dignitaries present, and showing off the skills they acquired from the First Pitch programme.

The Ranelagh Primary School Diamond was officially unveiled in October, along with Ranelagh Primary’s new community team, the Ranelagh Rockets, and the school put the diamond to use right away, hosting a local First Pitch Festival for four other local schools. Ranelagh’s students also played an important part in the London Series gameday festivities, with pupils serving as Child Mascots for both of the games. With the new diamond, a home team, and a strong connection to the London Series, Ranelagh Primary School will be an important community hub for the London Legacy Programme for years to come.

As a follow-on to the First Pitch programme, an entry-level softball programme using the Olympic-format of Fastpitch Softball has been developed for Secondary Schools, targeted at young women in Years 7 & 8 to aid transition and encourage engagement in PE and School Sport. Teachers from ten secondary schools in the London Boroughs of Newham and Waltham Forest were trained to deliver Fastpitch Softball extra-curricular activities using equipment and resources provided through the free programme.

While the Cubs and Cardinals returned to the US after the London Series, the MLB London Legacy Programme continued, with BaseballSoftballUK delivering Baseball5 sessions to schools across the capital. Baseball5, as a new form of the sport requiring less space and equipment, was ideally suited for urban environments, with 11 different community organisations and more than 300 young people getting involved.

The London Legacy Programme also provided the opportunity to create infrastructure for the baseball community, with the announcement that two permanent MLB Clubhouses at the London Stadium would be built and maintained year-round. The Clubhouses will be used not only for future London Series games, but as part of community initiatives, London Stadium tours, and as a focal point in the community for future Legacy programmes.


The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London is proud to support the MLB London Series Legacy programme which is driving increased participation and interest in baseball across the capital. It is important that major sporting events offer real benefits and opportunities to Londoners, helping to build a better and more prosperous London for everyone.”

BaseballSoftballUK MLB London Legacy Manager Jon Rye said, “We truly want to inspire children, young people, and young adults to play our sports. The MLB London Series gives us a firework moment from which to create that impact, and we have seen through 2023 that there is a real appetite to develop and sustain engagement in our sports across the UK.”

Leigh Welburn, Headteacher of Ranelagh Primary School, said “The smiles on the faces of the children who returned after playing their part in the MLB London Series in June is something I will never forget. The children walking onto the field, accompanied by roar of the crowd, is something they have told me will live in their memory forever. I am absolutely thrilled that the legacy is lasting… the beginning of something incredibly special here at Ranelagh and within our Trust.”

The Legacy Continues

With the 2024 London Series returning to the London Stadium on 7-8 June 2024, the MLB London Series Legacy Programme continues into 2024, and beyond. As the city of London prepares to welcome the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies, preparations are underway for an even bigger year. The MLB London Series Legacy Programme has created the Inspired By mark, a single brand which will be featured on all Legacy Programme activities. The mark will further the ties between the Legacy work and the MLB London Series and help connect the wider community with MLB’s presence in the UK.

With an eye towards expanding both the number of First Pitch participants and Festivals, and work extending into secondary schools and universities, the MLB London Series Legacy Programme will be even bigger in 2024!

For more information about the MLB London Series Legacy Programme, and the MLB London Series, visit and