Sadiq Khan practises pitching baseball in Central Park ahead of MLB appearance

The politician has said he hopes to use the trip, which will also include visits to California, to attract investment to London.

Benjamin Cooper
Tuesday 10 May 2022 07:16
Sadiq Khan has warmed up for his guest appearance throwing the ceremonial first pitch at a Major League Baseball (MLB) game by practicing in New York’s Central Park (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Sadiq Khan has warmed up for his guest appearance throwing the ceremonial first pitch at a Major League Baseball (MLB) game by practicing in New York’s Central Park (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Sadiq Khan has warmed up for his guest appearance throwing the ceremonial first pitch at a Major League Baseball (MLB) game by practising in New York’s Central Park.

The Mayor of London met with Hillary Clinton, the city’s current mayor Eric Adams and its former leader Michael Bloomberg on Monday at the start of his tour to boost London’s tourism and tech industries.

The west coast leg of the trip began with Mr Khan landing in San Francisco at about 10.30pm (6.30am BST) ahead of his appearance throwing the first pitch at the game between the hometown Giants and the Colorado Rockies at Oracle Park on the edge of San Francisco Bay on Tuesday.

The American tradition of having a guest-of-honour throw the first pitch dates back to at least 1890 and has commonly included US presidents since William Howard Taft in 1910.

Mr Khan attended the launch of an international tourism campaign – Let’s Do London – on Monday in Times Square and met with MLB commissioner Robert Manfred to announce the British capital would host regular season games for the league in 2023, 2024 and 2026.

Hillary Clinton is among the political luminaries to meet with Sadiq Khan during his US tour (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

“These games will be a fantastic opportunity to once again showcase the London Stadium as a multi-use venue and a fantastic asset for the capital,” Mr Khan said, before showing off his pitching skills in Manhattan’s famous park.

The New York Yankees played a two-game series against the Boston Redsox at the stadium in 2019 in the first regular-season games played in Europe, with Mr Manfred saying all aspects of the fixtures “were an overwhelming success”.

Mr Khan will meet with Google and LinkedIn executives in San Francisco, before travelling to Los Angeles to promote London’s film industry.

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