Base runner Lars Nootbaar of the St. Louis Cardinals is out at second while Chicago's Nico Hoerner throws to first base for a double play in a meeting of Major League Baseball rivals that will play next June in two games at London

New York (AFP) - The St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs will take one of Major League Baseball’s oldest rivalries overseas with a two-game series at London in 2023, the teams announced Thursday.

The US Midwestern squads, foes since 1892, will meet June 24-25 as part of the MLB London Series at baseball-configured London Stadium.

It marks MLB’s return to England, where the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox played the first MLB regular-season games in Europe in June 2019.

The Cubs and Cardinals were to have played in London in 2020 but those games were called off due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The Cardinals-Cubs rivalry is one of the best in sports and it will be exciting to bring it to Europe for a new audience to experience,” said Cardinals chairman William DeWitt Jr.

“I have no doubt the passionate sports fans in London will love these games and we look forward to creating some new Cardinals fans overseas.”

The 2012 Olympic Stadium, expected to seat about 60,000, proved to be a friendly venue for hitters in 2019 with dimensions of 330 feet down the lines and 385 feet to centerfield with 16-foot walls. The Yankees beat Boston 17-13 and 12-8.

“The Cardinals-Cubs rivalry is one of the best in sports and it will be exciting to bring it to Europe for a new audience to experience,” said Cardinals chairman William DeWitt Jr.

Both teams have played regular-season games outside the United States before. The Cardinals faced Cincinnati in two games at Monterrey, Mexico, in 2019 while the Cubs opened the 2000 season against the New York Mets in Tokyo and played the Montreal Expos, now the Washington Nationals, in three games in 2003 at San Juan, Puerto Rico.

“We’re thrilled to finally be able to bring one of baseball’s biggest rivalries to fans abroad in 2023,” Cubs executive chairman Tom Ricketts said.

MLB plans to stage 24 regular-season games and 16 exhibitions in Asia, Europe, Mexico and Latin America through 2026.