The Phillies in London: A notebook of pre-game observations & anecdotes


The Philadelphia Phillies are preparing for a two-game series against the New York Mets in London this weekend, but this isn’t just any exhibition series. London has been turned into a Sea of Red over the last two days, with fans travelling across the pond to support their beloved Phils’ and a chorus of British fans have descended on the Capital with hopes of seeing a sweep against a divisional rival.

While there’s still a whole day until the two team lock horns, there have been plenty of cool moments and fun surprises for those roaming around the streets of London.

Phillies take lover London

If you’ve been out and about over the last few days, there’s a good chance you would’ve unexpectedly bumped into a Phillie or two. Bryce Harper was spotted shopping on Thursday, while Chase Utley and Cole Hamels have both frequented popular fan venues to interact with the supporters ahead of this weekend.

Trafalgar Square became a hotbed for Phillies both former and current over the days preluding the game. Chase Utley partook in a home run derby against Daniel Murphy, while Alec Bohm and Kyle Schwarber decided to surprise fans by showing up to sign some autographs on Friday morning!


Passyunk Avenue has been the go-to spot for Phillies fans this weekend, with the Waterloo bar delivering a remarkable atmosphere as Phillies fans rejoiced. I’ve spent a lot of time there myself, and despite only knowing a few people beforehand, it was just amazing to speak to so many fans, all who were more than happy to just share in conversation about their journey to the UK, their love for the team, and so much more. There hasn’t been a single negative experience, or even a remotely average one. Phillies fans have been nothing but kind and eager to interact with anyone else they see wearing those fabled pinstripes.

Rob Thompson mentioned on Friday that he took the team for a tour of the Tower of London before he and the coaches hopped over to Passyunk Avenue to mingle with fans. Their arrival was met with an electric reception, and after a toast to the team, the staff headed up for a few quiet drinks, unbothered by the hundreds of fans. That night alone demonstrated how in-sync the Phillies are with the fanbase. The coaches spoke to everyone, took pictures, never said no to an excited fan, and were more than happy to chat to anyone who had a question or two.

Not every Phillies player was out sightseeing though. Ranger Suarez told reporters he slept in his Hotel all day, much to the amusement of Bryson Stott who was sat next to him. I asked both if they’d tried a cup of Tea yet, but Ranger candidly responded ‘No, only coffee’ with a huge smile on his face. The playful and relaxed nature of this team is just so impressive.

Batting practice

The Phillies took to London Stadium on Friday to warm up and get used to their surroundings. Impressively, hoards of Phillies fans were in attendance to cheer on their favorite stars, who were all too happy to stop and sign a few autographs and wave throughout the afternoon.

The players looked relaxed. You wouldn’t know they were over 3,000 miles from home just looking at the way they interacted with one another and approached the practice. The setting was calm and the stars were very composed.


Of all the observations I had, the most surprising was how many balls were being sent into the stands. I know it’s only a practice, but the London Stadium has a habit of throwing up huge scores when it comes to baseball games because of how its roof is designed. It’s not like an open-air ballpark, which means the wind can’t get under the ball, and this results in a barrage of big hits. If you’re looking for an offensive masterclass on Saturday morning, there may be no team more suited to delivering than the surging Phillies!


With the game now just a few hours away, all eyes turn to London Stadium one more time. Make sure to follow along on Philly Sports Network for all the latest from the Capital of England.