The Red Sox and Yankees will take their rivalry across the pond next month when they play a regular-season series in London.
The new venue in a new country isn't the only thing new. For the first time in more than 2,200 meetings, they'll play on artificial turf.
Major League Baseball concluded there wasn't time to install a new grass baseball field over the grass soccer pitch and track at Olympic Stadium in London, so artificial turf - similar to what the Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Rays and Arizona Diamondbacks have at their ballparks - will be put in over gravel that will cover the existing surface.
MLB was granted access to the stadium, built for the 2012 Olympics and home of West Ham of English Premier League soccer, for 21 days before the Yanks-Sox series.
“It’s the first Yankees-Red Sox game out of the country, so why not a lot of firsts?” Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia told the Associated Press. “I think it will be fine.”
Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts said the Sox have some familiarity with the surface because of playing the Jays and Rays in the American League East.
“If we had never played on turf, it would be different, but we’ve played on turf,” Bogaerts told the AP.
Another first, Boston is designated as the home team for the games but both teams will wear their home uniforms. So, the Yankees pinstripes will be on display against the Sox home whites.
By the way, the Yankees hold a 1,911-991 all-time series lead, with 14 ties, and lead 12-11 in postseason victories, and 27-9 in World Series titles. Before they meet in London, the rivals play at Yankee Stadium May 30-June 2.
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