The London Series mascot race will feature British icons from Churchill to the Loch Ness monster
Not every team in baseball has a mascot race during their games, but the teams that do offer exceedingly fitting tributes to their home cities. The Brewers have sausages. The Pirates have pierogies. The Nationals bring presidents back from the dead to run around the field each game.
When the Yankees and Red Sox travel to London this weekend, they'll be greeted by a stadium race fit for not just London, but Great Britain as a whole. Fans voted on mascots to represent four categories of notable Brits -- cultural icons, legends, historical figures and monarchs.
The cultural icons and legends categories had some runaway -- if slightly surprising -- winners. Possibly riding on the coattails of Bohemian Rhapsody, Freddie Mercury managed to take down not only John Lennon but William Shakespeare. Perhaps even more surprisingly, the legendary King Arthur lost to the Loch Ness Monster. Obviously, this will lead to much better outfits.
Our next poll treads the line between fact and fiction. Which of these legends would you like to see in MLB's #GreatBritishMascotRace?— MLB London (@mlblondonseries) April 13, 2019
Winston Churchill ran away with the historical figures category as the only candidate to win a clear majority of the vote. Meanwhile, Henry VIII held off a major challenge from his daughter, Elizabeth I, for the chance to represent the monarchy in cartoonish form.
Our last poll is a royal affair. Which monarch would you like to see in MLB's #GreatBritishMascotRace?— MLB London (@mlblondonseries) April 15, 2019
If there's a thread that runs through these results, it seems to be that the electorate has a clear preference for potentially interesting costumes over actual historical import or stature. In terms of the actual race, Mercury has to be the favorite. Neither Henry VIII nor Churchill were known for their fitness while the Loch Ness Monster will literally be a fish out of water.
Still, there's a reason they run the race. You never quite know how things will play out.
Eric Chesterton is a writer for MLB.com. He is an appreciator of the stolen base, the bunt against the shift and nearly every unconventional uniform design. He eagerly awaits Jamie Moyer's inevitable comeback.