The weather is finally warming up and baseball season is almost upon us. It’s time to get your friends and family together to cheer, sing, dance, eat fried chicken and ummm… watch some baseball. Opening day for the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) is March 24.
If you’ve never been to a baseball game in Korea, you’re really in for a treat. It’s the “wildest, most outlandish baseball league in the world”, writes Sung Min Kim in his latest article published in the Deadspin. We couldn’t agree more, but if you think these players sound like a joke, think again. There are some MLB – caliber talents at the top tier of the league Sung says.
There are 10 teams on the KBO roster that include Doosan Bears, LG Twins and Nexen Heroes are from Seoul, Lotte Giants are from Busan, KIA Tigers from Gwangju, Hanwha Eagles are from Daejeon, Samsung Lions from Daegu, SK Wyverns are from Incheon, the NC Dinos from Changwon and the KT Wiz are from Suwon. There is a strong bonding effect between supporters depending on their city of origin or the company they work for. It is usual to do friendly bets between colleagues on baseball statistics and some teams even attend games religiously to support their brand and create a strong relationship that often, not always, benefit their teamwork.
If you’re interested in game schedules and stats of the individual players, you can check them out on the official KBO website.
The atmosphere in the stadiums is electric and the fans are committed. Once on site, you will be chasing after the plastic bags and inflatable sticks that harbor the colors of the team you support just to be able to blend into the crowd. Then, you will learn the two most basic screams: "Ya!" as a complaint when a player makes a foul, and "Wae!" meaning What? as a reply to the opposite team screaming for the foul, creating a back and forth of Ya and Wae until either side runs out of fried chicken.
Finally, if you are lucky and the team you support scores a home run, you will get to experience the euphoria of a few thousand people at once, burning the screams of joy onto your memory bank. Going to any stadium in any country is a great experience and the general joie de vivre of the Korean stadium goers is infectious and truly memorable.
Getting tickets for popular games can be quite competitive as they sell out fast. If you’re planning on going, we recommend buying tickets early for the best games and seats. There are several online websites where you can buy tickets or if you’re near a stadium and want to try your luck, you can sometimes catch last minute tickets at the box office.
If you need help with baseball tickets or planning a weekend, Wonderful can help. Just send us a message. We’re a virtual personal assistant service dedicated to helping foreigners in Korea. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to get more insights into the best events in Korea. www.gowonderfully.com