Baseball in Korea
Whether you're a baseball fan or not, you'll want to include at least one game in your list of experiences in Korea. There are currently 9 professional teams in Korea and while the game is basically the same as that played in North American, there are some interesting differences.
A missionary from the U.S. first introduced baseball to Korea in 1905 and it became popular, especially among high school students. There are still high school tournaments that attract attention:
President's Cup (begun by President Park Chung-hee) in March in Seoul
Bonghwanggi tournament, held in August in Incheon brings together all the teams. It’s the only one where there is no regional playoff.
The Korea Baseball Association (KBA - 대한 야구 협회) is Korea’s baseball governing organization while the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO - 한국 야구 위원회) governs the professional leagues. There are female teams but these fall under the oversight of the Women’s Baseball Association Korea (WBAK -한국 여자 야구 연맹). (See What’s Going On Sports for game schedules).
The Game Korea-style
1. Teams are referred to by the name of their sponsors and not the city in which they play:
Doosan Bears (Seoul - Jamsil Baseball Stadium)
Nexen Heroes (Seoul - Mokdong Baseball Stadium)
LG Twins (Seoul - Jamsil Baseball Stadium)
NC Dinos (Masan - Masan Compleax Stadium
Lotte Giants (Busan- Sajik Baseball Stadium)
Samsung Lions (Daegu - Daegu Civil Stadium)
SK Wyverns (Incheon - Moonhak Baseball Stadium)
Hanhwa Eagles (Daejeon - Daejeon Hanbat Baseball Stadium)
KIA Tigers (Gwangju - Gwangju Champions Field)
See Baseball Teams page for more details re teams and stadiums.
2. Total number of games: Each team plays 128 game, 16 games against each of the other teams with a total of 576 games a year. Extra innings during the regular season are limited to 12 but extended to 15 during the post-season.
3. Playoff differences: The first round is played between the 3rd and 4th place teams in a 3-game elimination series. The winner then plays the 2nd place team in a 5-game series. The 1st place team then meets the winner of that round in a 7-game series.
At the Game:
1. You may see two entrances – supporters of the home team entering through one with the visitors fans going in through the other.
2. Going to a baseball game in Korea is much more affordable than in many other places - W7,000 to W40,000 depending on seating. Regular seat tickets are W7,000 to W40,000 for adults (students W5,000 weekdays, W6,000 weekends while the price for children ranges from free to W4,000). There are VIP seats at W60,000-W70,000 while table seats go for W20,000-W45,000 depending ont he stadium. For more information, click here (info in Korean only). Season tickets range from W220,000 to W490,000 and up. For more season ticket options for each stadium, see this Naver ticket site (Korean only)
3. Korean baseball has cheerleaders who encourage the fans to support their team. They have a cheer for every player and keep going through the whole game, with some costume (changes and updates) for the women cheerleaders who appear between innings usually. The one leading cheers throughout the game is usually male.
4. Support is expressed through ‘fight songs’ and noise makers such as drums and other instruments. You’ll also see fans holding inflatable tubes (cheer sticks). A baseball game is a noisy experience.
5. Instead of hot dogs, hot pretzels and peanuts, vendors offer kimbap, udon, dried squid, rice cakes, fried or BBQ chicken, etc. There are also beer stands around the stadiums (as well as a variety of western-style fast food chains). Vendors may also be going through the stadiums selling food, beer, etc.
K4E Editor: We are working on making the information on this site as complete and accurate as possible, so if you notice any errors or omissions, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Updated on 2014-05-15
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