London Series: Initial takeaways from London Stadium

Rob Bradford
June 28, 2019 - 9:34 am

LONDON -- At just about 2 p.m. local time Michael Chavis, Marcus Walden and Colten Brewer were the first Red Sox to walk out on the turf of London Stadium and spin around in order to soak in the field which will host the Sox' next two games against the Yankees.

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What they saw was not the everyday baseball stadium.

The product of Major League Baseball's dream was on display with both the Yankees and Red Sox working out Friday afternoon, getting the lay of the land when it came to morphing a track stadium into a very different kind of venue.

Here are some of the initial takeaways from the makeshift ballpark:

- The field is fake turf, although it seems almost better quality than some of those stadiums in Major League Baseball thanks to the newness of its placement. In fact, Yankees legend Reggie Jackson actually surmised it was real grass when doing an in-stadium interview only to be told it was artificial.

- Walking up to the stadium it is very clear what this thing was made for: the Olympics. The enormous structure that hosted the Olympic flame towers over what is the center field stands.

- Sunday's game might be a bit challenging for hitters, with a brutal shadow lurking between the pitcher's mound and home plate for what will be the beginning of the series finale.

- It is somewhat odd to see a center field so shallow, with dead-center sitting at 385 feet. The left- and right-field alleys max out just three feet shorter than the deepest part of the ballpark.

- There is a ton of foul ground, with the dugouts shifted much closer to behind home plate than normal ballparks.

- Vendors were being trained how to sell popcorn and cotton candy earlier Friday. Typically there aren't roaming vendors hawking food and drink while the events are going on. There is also a new name for cotton candy.