LONDON -- The 2023 London Series was a rousing success, heralded as a historic next step for MLB’s efforts in venturing abroad and growing the game internationally. Now, some of these pieces of history will be enshrined in Cooperstown forever.
Following Saturday and Sunday’s games between the Cubs and Cardinals at London Stadium, the Baseball Hall of Fame collected game-used and worn artifacts from the series, which will be taken to Cooperstown to be displayed in the HOF museum. The items covered all aspects of the game, ranging from the tools behind towering blasts to the opening salvo fired from Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright’s right hand.
Here are the four items from the 2023 London Series that will rest on display in Cooperstown:
The first pitch from Saturday’s game
One of the oldest rivalries in baseball, with 2,495 meetings between the two clubs, hopped across the pond for the first time. Wainwright’s first pitch to Cubs leadoff hitter Mike Tauchman, an 85.7 mph sinker that ran just outside the zone for a ball, was collected to be sent to the Hall of Fame.
The 41-year-old Wainwright, who sits on 198 career wins and has been part of some of the most famous Cardinals moments this century, felt like a fitting delivery man for the opening pitch. On the other side, Tauchman, the only member of the Cubs to have played in the inaugural London Series in 2019 (as a member of the Yankees), was once again part of history.
Arenado’s jersey from Sunday
In honor of the Cardinals traveling to London, and also becoming the first home team to win in four MLB games in London, Nolan Arenado’s jersey from Sunday's game was donated to the Hall of Fame. A fitting jersey selection, as the Cards rocked their cream home kits with the famous “birds on the bat.”
Goldschmidt’s hat from Saturday
Paul Goldschmidt became the undisputed “Mr. Worldwide” of MLB on Saturday, becoming the first player in MLB history to play a regular-season game in five countries (USA, Australia, Canada, Mexico and England). To commemorate the moment, Goldy's hat from Saturday’s game was collected and prepped to be sent to the Hall of Fame.
“I never thought I’d even play in one country in the big leagues, so to play in five is pretty amazing,” said Goldschmidt during Saturday’s broadcast.
Happ’s batting gloves from his two-homer day
After the game, the Hall of Fame received Happ’s batting gloves that he used during both at-bats, an honor that the 28-year-old says he’ll cherish forever.
“I think if there’s ever a time that the Hall of Fame asks for anything, you’ve done something pretty cool,” said Happ. “To have one of those moments, that’s one of the most special parts of what we get to do. There’s a lot of cool things about it, but the fact that they’re gloves that I designed, and they’ll sit there [in the HOF] -- I think for Bruce Bolt and the whole company, they’ll be pretty thrilled about that.”