Archive | July, 2012

I Found My #Calling in Korea – To Watch Baseball Around the World

I can remember going to old Arlington Stadium to watch the Texas Rangers play back in the 80s. They were terrible and it might have been the worst Major League Baseball stadium out there, but it was all I knew. I loved every minute of those games.

As the years went by and I got older, I was able to see games in other stadiums around the country. I grew up on the game, and can’t get enough of it. In fact, it is just after 10am on a Monday morning in Korea, and I am watching a live baseball game from back home as I type this.

I love going to games, especially if it’s my first time at a stadium. I love hearing the roar of the crowd and smelling the fresh-cut grass. To me there is nothing better than walking up through the concourse and seeing the green grass on the field for the first time.

Fast forward to 2010, and I am living in Korea about to experience my first baseball game on foreign soil. It was an experience I would never forget. At a baseball stadium in Daegu, South Korea, I can still remember walking up the stairs, through the concourse, and out into the open air again seeing the green field below with the boys of summer playing catch.

I think I found my Calling.

I learned from the fans in Korea. I learned to love the game again in a new way. I was able to watch the game with a bit more passion for the simplicity of the game without all the negative aspects that are sometimes seen in the States. I have been able to meet some great people through the game here in Korea, and I hope to meet even more.

I found my Calling; to travel and experience baseball in other countries.

I’ve spent over two years here in Korea and have been to many baseball games. Each time I am there, I see something new and exciting. You can’t help but feel the excitement in the air with how passionate the fans are. I’ve never enjoyed a game so much than sitting with the cheering Korean fans. It’s simply great how they love the game the way it should be loved.

I have been fortunate to travel to each baseball stadium in the Korean equivalent of the MLB. In just over 8 months, I hope to keep that spirit alive as I travel around the world taking in baseball in as many places as I can. I want to rekindle my love again and again with the game that brought me so much pleasure over the years.

Samsung Lions Mascot - Daegu, South Korea

Samsung Lions Mascot - Daegu, South Korea

 

What is your Calling?

 

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Baseball Traveling – Where Should I Go?

I have finally decided to do some serious baseball traveling.

When I originally came to Korea in late 2009, I wanted to use it as a springboard of sorts to see baseball in Asia. I have enjoyed my time here and have been afforded the chance to see Korean baseball up close.

Korean baseball fans are very passionate. They bring an excitement to the game I have rarely seen in the USA. I don’t know how many places I will travel to and see the same excitement, at least not on the level here. However, I am anxious to get out and see baseball in different countries.

I am not finished in South Korea until early next year. In the meantime, I will be planning my trip.

I have a lot of places I want to go, too many in fact. So over the coming months I will be narrowing down my list. I am very excited to get out and see what the baseball scene is like in other parts of the world.

I hope to see baseball in countries where the game is growing and thriving and in places where it might not be. I want to talk to those who play, coach, or just watch and find out why they do it. How did they find the game and why do they like it?

It’s going to be an interesting journey, and I hope you will follow along with me. I’ll be reaching out to people along the way for information on where to travel to and who to see. So if you know of a beautiful stadium, raucous crowds, or just teams with great history please let me know.

My journey will start in Europe and will take me from western to eastern Europe. After which I will fly or train to Asia. Many of the countries I will go to have established league but not all of them.

Ideally I’d like to make it to Central and South America next, but that may have to wait for another year. It will depend on my financials and if I am still wanting to stay on the road that long.

So far the countries I am looking at are:
Spain
France
UK
Belgium
Netherlands
Germany
Austria
Czech Republic
Ukraine
Thailand
Cambodia
Vietnam
Philippines
Taiwan
China

This list is in constant flux however and I haven’t decided how far in advance I want to schedule. The cities will depend on team schedules for next year as well as any contacts I am able to talk to and the suggestions they have.

What do you think? Would you add a place or take one away?

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There are three things in my life which I really love: God, my family, and baseball. The only problem - once baseball season starts, I change the order around a bit. ~Al Gallagher, 1971

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