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


Sadiq Khan prepared for his guest appearance by throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at a Major League Baseball (MLB) game while practicing 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 around 10:30 p.m. (6:30 a.m. BST) before he appeared throwing the first pitch in the game between the hometown Giants and the Rockies of Colorado at Oracle Park on the San Francisco Bay on Tuesday.

The American tradition of having a guest of honor throw the first pitch dates back to at least 1890 and has generally included U.S. presidents since William Howard Taft in 1910.

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

Hillary Clinton is one of the political luminaries to have met Sadiq Khan during his American tour (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

“These games will be a fantastic opportunity to once again showcase London Stadium as a versatile venue and a fantastic asset to the capital,” said Mr Khan, 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 meetings “were a resounding success “.

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