Why Korean loves the Baseball game ①
<Hot Stove League> is a Korean baseball drama. It is about improving team performance during the stove league. (Stove league means the period of the off-season between the previous and new season of professional baseball league.) Baseball fans were falling in love with this drama, and even those who don’t know much about baseball loved it. The series is now available on Netflix.
Watching <Hot Stove League>, you could feel the mood of the baseball league in South Korea. Baseball is one of the most popular sports in Korea. Today, I will tell you what baseball is, how to enjoy baseball games, and what we do during baseball games.
I guess that someone might not be familiar with baseball, so let me tell you briefly what it is. Baseball is the sport playing with a ball, glove, and bat. Two opposing teams play the games with 18 players. There are 9 defensive players in a team(1 pitcher, 1 catcher, 4 infielders, 3 outfielders). Other 9 hitters in the opposing team hit the ball. The game consists of 9 innings, switching the position.
Baseball is a popular sport in South Korea, USA, and Japan. The USA league is the biggest and most popular, and the major league baseball is considered as the highest level of baseball for players. In Japan, high school baseball(koshien) is as popular as professional baseball.
The KBO(Korea Baseball Organization) manages the league of Korean baseball, and has ten teams. Each team has a stadium based in their homeground. That’s why most fans are local people.
Teams are named after their sponsor and have their own symbol. Ten teams of KBO league are as follows(Team, City, Stadium in order):
- Doosan Bears, Seoul, Jamsil Baseball Stadium
- LG Twins, Seoul, Jamsil Baseball Stadium
- Kiwoom Heros, Seoul, Gocheok Sky Dome
- SK Wyverns, Incheon, Incheon SK Happy Dream Park
- KT Wiz, Suwon(Gyeonggi), Suwon KT Wiz Park
- Hanwha Eagles, Daejeon, Daejeon Hanwha Life Eagles Park
- Kia Tigers, Gwangju, Gwangju-Kia Champions Field
- Samsung Lions, Daegu, Daegu Samsung Lions Park
- NC Dinos, Changwon(Gyeongnam), Changwon NC Park
- Lotte Giants, Busan, Busan Sajik Baseball Stadium
Then, how is the league going?
The regular season starts in March and ends at the end of September, with the open of Postseason. Each team plays overall 144 matches during the regular season. Top five teams win tickets to play in the postseason. In the postseason, the lowest-qualifying teams play games in a step-ladder system, where each winner then faces the next-highest team, culminating in the Korean Series.
Postseason is made up of four games:
- KBO Wild Card Game: fifth-place team vs. fourth-place team
- KBO Semi-playoffs: KBO Wild Card Game winner vs. third-place team
- KBO Playoffs: KBO Semi-playoffs winner vs. second-place team
- KBO Korean Series: KBO Playoffs winner vs. first-place team
In 2020, NC Dinos, KT Wiz, LG Twins, Doosan Bears, and Kiwoom Heros were top five in regular season, and NC Dinos won the championship in Korean Series.
For now, You might wonder how to see baseball games. In Korea, Baseball game schedules are open for a week-long, except for monday. The playtime is about 3 hours and the game begins at 18:30 on weekdays, and at 14:00 or 17:00 on weekends.
With TV and online broadcast applications, you could watch games anywhere. But I would recommend you to enjoy games at the stadium. You can feel the real passion of the game. Tickets are open at different websites but mostly you could buy tickets on Interpark Ticket or TicketLink. So you should check on the website of the team in advance.
Seating of the stadium are two types- infield seats and outfield seats. In infield seats, you can see the game and players much closer than outfield seats and also participate in cheering. Infield ticket prices are between KRW 10,000-30,000, and outfield ticket prices are below KRW 10,000. Pricing policies are depending on the stadium, so you should check it before buying the tickets.
In the continued article, I will tell you what we do during the baseball game including cheering culture.
To be continued...
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