Premier League connection raises anticipation of MLB London Series for Philadelphia Phillies' Bryson Stott

Second-baseman keen for reunion with pal Rob Holding in summer excursion
Marc Mayo9 hours ago

Philadelphia Phillies star Bryson Stott is eagerly anticipating next year's MLB London Series - as a chance to catch up with his Premier League footballer buddy.

The Las Vegas native is looking forward to rekindling his friendship with Crystal Palace defender Rob Holding, who will enjoy a reversal of roles when settling into the London Stadium in June to watch Stott's Phillies take on the New York Mets.

The two-game set on June 8 and 9 will be the third time MLB has ventured across the Atlantic, following New York Yankees' win over Boston Red Sox in 2019 and last year's clash between rival Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals.

For Stott, 26, it will be a chance to enjoy the sort of "electric" atmosphere he witnessed on his previous trip to the capital as he watched Holding in action in the English top flight, when the defender turned for former club Arsenal against Palace in 2020.

"I'm friends with Rob Holding and they were playing Crystal Palace, it's kind of funny he's over there now," he told a media call including Standard Sport.

Bryson Stott is looking to star in next year's MLB London Series
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"We just had a couple of mutual friends in college and he was visiting here one time, we just kind of hit it off.

"Rob's excited, he's let me know and we'll get together. I know he's excited [for MLB London Series]."

Stott's Phillies are looking to finally go all the way and win their first World Series since 2008, having fallen at the MLB showpiece in 2022 before last season's heartbreak at the hands of Arizona Diamondbacks in the NLCS, the sport's effective semi-final.

The Mets, meanwhile, are in transition after last year's big spending under owner billionaire Steve Cohen backfired, leading to a sharp U-turn in policy and new long-term approach to success.

With the London Series coming amidst MLB's hectic 162-game regular season schedule, Stott is pleased to be involved in one of the sport's most integral routes to expansion.

"Getting to experience a new place and play in front of fans who would have to fly thousands of miles and pay thousands of dollars to come watch us in America is pretty cool," he said.

"It gives backs to fans all over the world, it's bringing the game that they love and watch to them.

"Also it's big for our families. They're with us the whole year, they're travelling, they're taking care of kids and everything we can help with but we're going to the field for games as well. It's rewarding for them, that they get to go and experience it with us.

"It's great MLB does this and we're very excited to get over there."