MLB London Series: Pete Alonso aiming to channel his inner Didier Drogba as baseball returns to the capital

Idol: Boyhood Chelsea supporter and baseball star Pete Alonso is a huge fan of Blues icon Didier Drogba (Getty Images)
Idol: Boyhood Chelsea supporter and baseball star Pete Alonso is a huge fan of Blues icon Didier Drogba (Getty Images)

Baseball slugger Pete Alonso plans to channel his inner Didier Drogba when his New York Mets come to London to face the Philadelphia Phillies over two matches this weekend.

Alonso became a Chelsea supporter overnight after watching Drogba play for Ivory Coast at the 2006 World Cup.

As a teenager, Alonso tried his hand at football, but found he was far better suited to baseball. He has gone on to become a three-time MLB All-Star and a key figure in the Mets’ operation.

“When I was younger, I really liked watching Chelsea, because Didier Drogba was one of my favourite players,” said Alonso.

“The presence he had any time he took to the pitch, the way that he played his game and the way he emptied the tank every time, along with the power, aggression and style that he had in his game, that definitely inspires me in how I approach games.”

Alonso’s peak infatuation with Drogba came in the 2012 Champions League final, when the striker scored an 88th-minute equaliser against Bayern Munich and then hit the winning penalty in the shootout.

“That was my favourite all-time Drogba performance. Oh my god, he was a beast,” said the Mets’ first baseman. “That’s probably the most insane game I’ve seen.”

Watching a game at Stamford Bridge is on the bucket list for Alonso, who will have to forego even a brief visit to the Blues this week, such is the packed schedule laid out for him and his team-mates.

Among the tourist attractions lined up for him on this trip are Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge and the London Eye, as well as eating “proper fish and chips” and “a Sunday roast”.

The Mets have endured a difficult season to date, with 26 wins in contrast to 35 defeats, and won just one of their four games against the Phillies when they played last month.

In contrast, the Phillies, who they play on Saturday and Sunday at London Stadium, are the runaway leaders in National League East, and arguably the best team in baseball right now.

Of the current struggles, arguably the Mets’ longest hitter said: “It’s still very early. There are 160 games in a season and, over the course of the year, it’s about law of averages and eventually things will start rolling in the right direction.

“We’ve done a lot of things right and made mistakes, but we’ve stuck together as a group. We just need to get in the win column a little bit more.

“But we keep moving forward. And the only way to face a challenge is address it and go through it.”

New York Mets will play Philadelphia Phillies in the MLB World Tour: London Series 2024, June 8-9 at London Stadium. Tickets are available at