Tag Archive | "2010"

Daejeon – Hanwha Eagles and Daejeon Baseball Stadium


Daejeon Baseball Stadium, home of the Hanwha Eagles, was the last stadium for me to see in Korea.  It is also the closest to Daegu so I kept putting it off.  So Sunday September 26th, I decided to head up and see the final game of the season with the home team Hanwha Eagles squaring off with the Kia Tigers.

Daejeon Baseball Stadium is another older stadium in the KBO.  I am not sure of the year it was built, but I am guessing at least the early 1980s.  It holds just over 13,000 fans and is different in one aspect from most stadiums I have been to. The concession stands are not in a concourse but out among the seats, so if you are getting a drink you can still see the action.  It is a typical KBO stadium in that it has a lot of uncomfortable plastic seats and a lot of concrete.

Daejeon Baseball Stadium

Daejeon Baseball Stadium

Daejeon Baseball Stadium

Daejeon Baseball Stadium

I was surprised with how many people showed up for the final game of the season, especially since both teams are near the bottom of the standings with Hanwha being in last.  It was a beautiful Sunday evening, and a lot of people showed up for the game which gave it a great atmosphere.

Daejeon Baseball Stadium

Daejeon Baseball Stadium

Hanwha got off to a great start with 2 home runs in the first 2 innings, and after 2 innings they led 4-2.  The game got a little more interesting when early on a fly ball was hit to left field.  The left fielder took a bad route and wound up diving, but the he over ran the ball and it dropped.  I had a great view sitting down the left field line, and I could easily see how he overran the ball.  A few pitches later, he was replaced mid-inning.  That is not something that is seen very often, but he was pulled for another fielder.

Another interesting note was how the pitcher at one point threw over to first base at least 10 times while only throwing 2 pitches to the hitter.  If that happens in the US, fans are booing nonstop.  There wasn’t a word said while he was doing it. I didn’t hear any boos until the Kia runner was eventually picked off, and the Kia fans let him have it.

It was a lot of fun.  Hanwha won big 11-3.  I saw 2 home runs, some great defense, and the fans were amazing. I even got to see the wave done for the first time in Korea.  I love the wave back home.  I don’t really know why. I think it stems from being a child and going to MLB games where they would do it and having so much fun then.  When I am at a game now I am still like a little kid.

Daejeon Baseball Stadium

Daejeon Baseball Stadium

The stadium itself was uneventful, but I am glad I got to see it. It doesn’t rate at the worst, but its not near the top either. Soon I will be ranking the stadiums in Korea.

‘Till then,

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Gwangju – Kia Tigers and Moodeung Stadium


Last week I was able to take off a day from work and head over to Gwangju to see the home of the Kia Tigers.  This was one of 2 stadiums I had yet to see in Korea with the other one being the stadium in Daejeon, home of the Hanwha Eagles.

Kia plays at Moodeung Stadium in Gwangju.  The stadium was built in 1961 and seats just under 14,000 fans.

The bus ride to Gwangju from Daegu is a long one.  This was the main reason why I had put it off for so long.  I headed over to Seobu Bus Terminal to catch the 10:40 bus not knowing that it was going to take me over 4 hours.  The ride was slow since it was a long drive through the mountains and hills.  It was a beautiful drive however with green rolling hills and small villages along the way.  I got a nap here and there which was nice and arrived in Gwangju around 3pm.  The game didn’t start till 6:30 so I grabbed some lunch before hopping into a cab.

I got to the stadium around 3 hours before game time.  Typically the gates don’t open until 2 hours prior, so I wondered around the stadium to check out the surroundings.  There wasn’t a lot to see.  Next to the baseball stadium is an old track stadium where some younger kids were practicing.  Other than that I watched some Korean guys play catch with a ball as one tried pitching to the other off of a mound outside the stadium.

Finally it was time to head into the stadium.  It was a Thursday afternoon and Kia is way out of the playoff race so there were very few fans there early.  I had the chance to walk around most of the stadium to take some photos, but I was not able to get right behind home plate.  There are two main sections of the stadium.  Most of the stadium, maybe 95%, is general admission while the other 5%, which is right behind home plate, is reserved and requires you to enter via a certain entrance outside.  With only a general admission ticket, I had to settle with walking the rest of the stadium.

It’s a small stadium and very old.  Without a doubt it is the worst professional stadium I have ever seen anywhere.  It is an old concrete monstrosity with seats falling apart and no sign of anything being upgraded in the past 30 years.  Given that, it is a small stadium so every seat in the house has a good view of the game.

Moodeung Stadium Kia Tigers

Moodeung Stadium home of the Kia Tigers

Moodeung Stadium Kia Tigers

Moodeung Stadium home of the Kia Tigers

Moodeung Stadium Kia Tigers

Moodeung Stadium home of the Kia Tigers

The game itself wasn’t very exciting as the visiting Samsung Lions won easily against the defending champion Tigers.  Kia looks nothing like they did a year ago when they won the title, but I think that has a lot to do with injuries and players not performing like they did a year ago.  Samsung on the other hand looked good.  I got to see former MLB pitcher Tim Redding pitch for the Lions.  He started off bad with the first pitch being hit for a triple, but he settled down after that and pitched well.

Prior to the start of the game, I got the chance to walk around and get a feel for the stadium.  During batting practice there were 2 young kids out getting home run and foul balls.  I found 3 myself which goes to show there weren’t many people out to get the balls.  I gave 2 to the boys and kept 1 for a souvenir.  The boys wound up with around a dozen balls when it was all said and done.  They also got a few autographs.  They asked me a few times for a pen so someone could sign a ball.  They wanted a sharpie at one point so they could get their glove autographed, and I felt bad that I didn’t have one in my bag.  I’ll have to add one to my bag for next year.  They found one somewhere because they both had their gloves autographed when I saw them later.  They were very polite and gracious for the balls I gave them, even though they already had quite a few.

Moodeung Stadium Kia Tigers

One of the boys getting the home run balls.

Moodeung Stadium Kia Tigers

One of the boys getting the home run balls.

As the game began, a few Korean guys out in the outfield asked me to watch the game with them.  So I did.  They were very polite and happy to be watching the game with a foreigner.  One spoke very good English, but the other did not so he would ask his friend to ask me questions about MLB teams and players.  He was very happy that I was a Braves and Rangers fan because he was too.

It was a lot of fun watching the game with them.  They were very vocal and were really into the cheers and chants for the hometown Tigers.  I cheered for the Tigers with them, even though they knew my favorite team was Samsung.  At one point, a group of fans sitting to our left, a section or two over, left early and had some food to spare so they gave it to us.  I was told we were given the food because we were cheering the loudest.  I think it had more to do with the fact that nobody else was around.

Moodeung Stadium Kia Tigers

The two guys I watched the game with

Korean Food Jokbal - Pigs Feet

Korean Jokbal

The food was delicious, but it wasn’t what I was expecting.  The opened up the container and we all dug in.  I could tell it was a pork product with some spicy dipping sauce.  I had a few bites and then tried to pick up a piece that was quite big.  Then I noticed it.  We were eating pig’s feet. Here they eat what amounts to the foot and shin.  The shin part has some good meat on it and that is generally what is eaten.  I was a little turned off to find the whole feet in the package however, but was grateful for the generosity of everyone.

The game was fun.  The stadium was a piece of crap, but all in all I had a great time.  I was glad I got to see the place, but I don’t plan on going back anytime soon.

With that stadium visited, I have one left to go to see all 7 in Korea.  I hope to change that tomorrow after visiting Daejeon for the final game of the season there.  I’ll be back early next week to tell you about my trip there, and then I will break down each of the stadiums.

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Hello Win Column: Rangers with Walk Off Wins


As the rangers has hit a tailspin in September and looked to blow their 9.5 game lead in the AL West, the Evil Empire came into town.  Things were not looking good for Texas since they are only 1-4 against the Yankees heading into the weekend series in Arlington. There has been talk, even in Dallas, about the possibility of Oakland coming back to win the division as the Rangers fail miserably down the stretch.

Players are hurt, the pitching is struggling, and the hitters can’t seem to get timely hitting which has led to a meager 4-6 record in their previous 10 games.  Even with winning 2 straight against the Blue Jays prior to the dreaded Yanks heading to town, the Rangers were in coast mode, which is not good.

Then something happened that many, including me didn’t expect.  The Rangers win 2 in a row on walk-offs versus the Yankees.  Not only did they win both in walk-off fashion, but Mariano Rivera blew one of the games.

On Friday night, the Rangers went down early as the Yankees took a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning.  This was not looking good for the Rangers as CJ Wilson go the hook early after only 3 innings.  The Rangers would battle back and tie the game in the 8th inning at 4-4 with a Nelson Cruz home run off of Jaba Chamberlain, and Cruz wasn’t done.  The game continued into the night, until Nelson Cruz came up again in the 13th to face Chad Gaudin.  Cruz only needed one pitch to send the fans home happy into the night as he hit the first pitch of the 13th inning over the right center field fence for a walk-off home run.

Nelson Cruz Walk Off Homerun in 13th

Now with 3 wins in a row, the Rangers came back Saturday night to face off with the hated Yankees again.  This time the Rangers sent out Tommy Hunter in search of his 13th win.  Hunter would last 5 innings giving up 2 runs on 6 hits but would not factor into the decision.  The Rangers would wind up throwing 7 pitchers into the game on Saturday night, as they took a 5-3 lead into the 8th inning.

Standing in their way of a 4th straight victory was former Rangers shortstop Alex Rodriguez.  With the bases loaded facing Matt Harrison, Arod doubled down the left field line clearing the bases and putting the Yanks up 6-5.

The Rangers would come roaring back in the 9th once again.  With Mariano Rivera on the hill, the Rangers fought back.  Vladimir Guerrero led off the inning with a walk, and was quickly replaced with a pinch runner as he was the tying run.  Nelson Cruz again came through with a single to right putting runners at the corner for Ian Kinsler.  Kinsler came through with a huge double over the 3rd base bag to tie the game and giving Rivera his 3rd blown save of the year.

Next up was Chris Davis who was intentionally walked to load the bases and set up the double play.  With Blanco pinch-hitting for Treanor and the bases loaded, Rivera coaxes Blanco to pop up for the first out.  Next up was recently acquired Jeff Francoeur.  Mariano Rivera did the rest of the work for the Rangers as he hit Francoeur with a pitch to bring in the winning run extending the Rangers win streak to 4 games.

Now this does not automatically send the Rangers into the playoffs, but it does 2 things that are huge for Rangers and their fans.  First of all, it helps stop all the talk of a Rangers complete collapse in September.  Sure there are still a few weeks of baseball left, and it is still possible for a total collapse, but winning games like this gives the Rangers so much confidence heading into the rest of September.  The second thing that it does is give the Rangers confidence if and when the Rangers face the Yankees in the playoffs.  This might be the most important factor.

No matter what happens Sunday night versus the Yankees, the Rangers have a new found confidence heading into perhaps the most critical part of the season as they prepare for a possible run at the World Series.

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Playoff Predictions


With a month left in the season, it is nice to still see there are some races left for division titles. In 4 of the 6 divisions, the lead is 3.5 games or less. With so much baseball to be played a lot could happen. I am going to attempt now to predict what will happen by the end of the season as I take a look at each division.

AL East
The lead for the Yankees is at 1.5 games over Tampa Bay. This has been a close race all year, and I don’t see that changing the last month of the season. Regardless of who wins the division, the other will win the wildcard unless one or both have a complete nosedive the last month of the season. Of course, that can happen (See 2007 Mets), but I don’t see it happening this year. What I do see happening is the Yankees holding onto a narrow victory for the division title, and Tampa Bay winning the Wild Card.

New York wins AL East
Tampa Bay wins Wild Card

AL Central
Minnesota has a 3.5 game lead over Chicago. Can Manny help reignite the White Sox to overtake the Twins? I don’t think so. I really don’t see Manny providing much down the stretch. He seems to be a pale image of his old self, which after what he did to the Red Sox, I am happy to see. Anyone who acts like he does I really don’t want to see succeed. I have the Twins winning in the Central by 3 games or so.

Minnesota wins AL Central

AL West
This division is about wrapped up. Texas leads Oakland by 10 games and even if Cliff Lee has to miss some time, the Rangers have too much for the West. The only question that remains in the West is how will the Rangers prepare themselves for the playoffs. Yes I know they could still collapse in the heat of Texas, but I see this happening about as much as I see the Red Sox overtaking Tampa Bay for the Wild Card. Its just not going to happen.

Texas wins AL West

NL West
San Diego leads San Francisco by 3 games. This one is a tough one to call since nobody thought the Padres would be in first, let alone so much of the season. I am actually going to say San Francisco comes back to take the division late in the season by a game or two. I think Lincecum and Cain will lead the Giants back to the playoffs. This will lead the Padres to battle it out for the wildcard.

San Francisco wins NL West

NL Central
This is another surprising division with the Reds up on the Cardinals by 8 games. I don’t see Cincinnati faltering down the stretch. The division might get a little closer, but I see the Reds winning by 4 or 5 games.

Cincinnati wins AL Central

NL East
This one is a tough one to call, especially since I am such a huge Braves fan. Call me a homer if you want but I am calling for the Braves to take the division in Bobby Cox’s last season. It will go down to the wire, but I like the Braves chances with their pitching staff. That is why I am calling for them to win the division and the Phillies to take the Wild Card. I just think Hudson, Hanson, and the staff will take them to the playoffs.

Atlanta wins NL East
Philadelphia wins Wild Card

NL Division Series
Atlanta vs San Francisco – Atlanta wins in 4
Philadelphia vs Cincinnati – Cincinnati wins in 4

AL Division Series
Texas vs Tampa Bay – Texas in 5
New York vs Minnesota – New York in 4

AL Championship Series
With Texas finally winning a playoff series, they must go to Yankee Stadium to face the evil empire. I think they match up fairly well but I am not sure they can get by the Yankees, so as much as I hate to I am picking the Yankees to win.

Yankees win in 6 games.

NL Championship Series
A series pitting upstart Cincinnati against Atlanta I think would be a good one. I really like the Braves pitching, but I think Cincinnati has the offense and enough pitching to take the series. I am going with the Reds in 7 games.

Cincinnati wins in 7 games.

World Series
I think this could be a good one, and while I am not calling for a repeat of 1990 when the Reds swept through the mighty A’s, I see the Reds finishing the miracle season atop the world. Reds in 6 games.

I am going out on a limb. How far out is a question of your loyalties in baseball I guess. I am saying the Reds win the World Series. Of course, I would love to see the Braves and Rangers in the series, but I am not sure that will happen.

World Series Champs – Cincinnati Reds

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Interview – Foreigner Playing Ball in Korea – Brett VanHoose


Recently Brett VanHoose, an American living and teaching in Korea, sat down to answer some questions about playing baseball in Korea.  He plays in an adult baseball league here in Daegu.  I’d like to thank Brett for taking the time out if his busy schedule.  Here is what he had to say….

Tell us a little bit about your baseball background. Did you play in college? Did you ever aspire to play professionally?

I have played recreational baseball since I was five years old from Pee Wee to Pony League; played on several All-star teams during my Little League seasons in Delaware and Morrow County, Ohio – including a traveling team, and later I played four years varsity High School baseball and American Legion Baseball before moving on to college.  I played a spring seasons and a winter season with Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas and Mid-American Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas respectively. I finished my collegiate baseball career in Tampa, Florida with the University of Tampa when I was injured during spring training.

Did you play in adult leagues in the States before moving to Korea?

I played for the Muffins – a historical re-enactment base ball team based out of Columbus, Ohio. I volunteered with the Ohio Historical Society traveling to various locations throughout the state and other locations in and around the region of the country playing base ball games in the setting of the 1860’s.

Have you ever played in any other countries prior to coming to Korea?

I played competitive league softball in Bosnia-Herzegovina where the team I played traveled to various locations throughout the region engaging in multiple events.

How did you come to play with a team in Korea?

I saw a few adults playing in uniform on fields in and around Daegu and I inquired to my Hagwon owner about how to get in touch with them in order to see if they would let me play. She spoke to her nephew who knew of some players and I was able to coordinate a meeting – I met them one Sunday morning and they immediately invited me to play and since I have been asked to play on two other teams as well.

Baseball in Daegu

Tell us a little bit about the league. How many teams are there, and are they all from Daegu?

I can’t tell you much as the language barrier has made it difficult to follow, but if you like you can look at the websites I have provided below – you can see the number of leagues and teams per league. Amazingly enough there is more baseball going on in Daegu than most people know.

Are there any other foreigners playing in your league?

Yes, I have played with a Canadian pitcher last year and against several other Canadians; however, this season in the two leagues I am playing in I haven’t met any other foreigners.

What is the competition like throughout the league? Are there any players who have played at the college or professional level?

League competition as I have seen varies. There are a number of leagues with many skill levels. Yes, there are a number of players who have played higher level baseball and in some leagues hope to move up.

Are there any big differences in the play here in Korea compared to that back home in the States?

Yes, as in just about any athletic event Koreans may participate in – there are very few who focus on developing their skills to play at higher levels. Most sporting activities are for recreation only; however, I must say I have seen some outstanding ball players who have without a doubt put in some hard work to develop their skills.

I have seen you play some catcher and pitcher. How do you get over the language barrier while playing?

It is not easy, although as you may know – most Koreans can communicate substantially more affectively in English than most foreigners can in Korean. So, for the most part I have no problem – helps when teammates understand the game.

Is there a site where we can follow the standings or statistics for your league? (Korean site is okay)

This is my Saturday League (I play for SK Telecom)www.kmball.com and this is my Sunday League (I play for H-Fitness) www.tkabo.or.kr/default.asp

With your knowledge of the game and experience with teaching, have you ever thought of coaching baseball?

Yes, I have coached youth recreational baseball, but I would very much like to coach competitive high school baseball.

Baseball in Daegu

Thanks again to Brett for taking the time to answer some questions. Stay tuned for more interviews in the coming weeks.
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Interview – Matthew Dewoskin of True Stories of Korean Baseball


Matthew Dewoskin has become an authority on Korean baseball.  Along with building up a following on his blog, True Stories of Korean Baseball, Matthew writes for a Busan based magazine, Busan Haps. Matthew was kind enough to sit down and take a few minutes to answer some questions on being a foreign journalist in Korea.

You have built up a following with your blog on the KBO. Did you have a favorite team back in the States as well?

Absolutely. I’m a lunatic for the Chicago White Sox team.

Do you still follow the MLB or that team?

I never stopped.

How long have you been in Korea?

About four years.

I have seen other people use your blog as a reference for anyone who wants to follow the KBO. What got you interested in writing about the KBO?

I was frustrated by the lack of KBO info in English, so I decided to start doing it myself. I also wanted to learn the Korean words for baseball terms and blogging helped with that.

Do you get most of your information for your daily updates from Korean websites?

About 95% of it.

How would you compare the KBO to MLB?

The biggest difference is the facilities. Korea hasn’t really put any money into upgrading their facilities since the 80’s and they need it desperately. As far as the on field product, the KBO is about AAA or AA level, but I think a lot of the top talent would do well in the US. We might get a chance to see Hanhwa ace Ryu Hyeon-jin make the jump next year. I think he’d make a great reliever. I’m not sure if he could start every fifth day for 162 games.

You also write for a magazine on the city of Busan, Busan Haps. How did that start?

The editor of the site made me a “Godfather Offer.” He basically said, “Write for me and you could talk to Jerry Royster every week.” Jerry doesn’t always answer his phone and I don’t always have time to chase him, but it’s cool having some access.

When you get the chance to go to games, how receptive are players to a foreign journalist?

I’ve only had a press pass once and I spent more time with Jerry than I did with the players. Lotte DH Hong Seong-heun spoke English and I was able to beg Lee Dae-ho into taking a picture with me. The Giants staff wasn’t very receptive to having non-Koreans hanging around. We weren’t allowed in the press box.

What about the coaches?

Honestly, I didn’t really meet any of them.

Are you able to interview any Korean players?

Funny you ask. There should be an interview with Lee Dae-ho going up at the Busan Haps site sometime soon.

I won’t ask you about any “bad guys” in the league, but I am always interested in hearing who is a really nice guy. Have you come across any in the KBO during your time here?

The few players I’ve met have been absolute gentlemen. I’ve never had a bad experience with a player. Except CJ Nitkowski. All the guys on Lotte were awesome and the few Samsung Lions I’ve met have been great. Samsung manager Sun Dong-yeol is one of the nicest guys on the planet.

How many games do you make it to in a given year?

As many as possible. I’ve only made it to about fifteen this year. Last year I made it to over 30.

Do you have a favorite stadium in the KBO?

Incheon’s Munhak Stadium. It’s by far the best ballpark in the KBO. Beautiful facility. They really made an effort to make Munhak different than the other cookie cutter stadiums in the KBO. The foliage in the outfield. The hydraulic boat for the cheerleaders. The modern upper deck. The wide concourses. It’s like a real stadium.

Thoughts on who might win this year in the KBO?

SK has to be the odds on favorite, but I’m excited to see the Lions in the Korean Series. I think Samsung’s pitching matches up well with SK and the opportunistic Samsung offense should provide enough runs to keep Samsung in the series.

Have you had the opportunity to travel and see baseball overseas anywhere?

I’ve been to a few games in Japan.

Where is the one place you would like to see a baseball game that you havne’t?

I’d really like to see a game in Cuba.

I’d like to thank Matthew for taking the time to answer some questions.  If you are interested in learning more about the KBO, head on over to his website, True Stories of Korean Baseball.  There is a lot of good information there.  Also check out his articles for Busan Haps where he covers the Lotte Giants (perhaps the most popular team in Korea).

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Book Review – Batting Stance Guy: A Love Letter to Baseball


After seeing Gar Ryness, aka the Batting Stance Guy, on MLB network prior to the start of the 2009 season, I was hooked.  Not only could him imitate the stars of today, but he could imitate the stars of the 70s and 80s that I grew up watching.  But one thing stands out more than any other.  The simple fact that he had down pat a batting stance of a little known catcher from the Houston Astros, Tony Eusebio.  When I saw that, I knew I was watching something special.

Earlier this year Gar came out with his book, Batting Stance Guy: A Love Letter to Baseball. I knew I had to pick up a copy and I was glad to find a bookstore in Seoul that could get me just that.   Gar is great on YouTube where he became a hit, but his writing style, along with friend Caleb Dewart, really struck me as unique, funny, and it brought back so many memories of my childhood.

The book takes you through the 50 best stances of all time where none other than Red Sox slugger Kevin Youkilis stands alone at the top.  The book is chalked full of names you will know and remember like Cal Ripken Jr., Rickey Henderson, Pete Rose, Albert Pujols, and Joe Morgan.  But the genius in this book doesn’t lie with the stars, it lies with all the others like Tony Eusebio, John Wokenfuss (the only player I was not familiar with), Phil Plantier, and Mickey Tettleton.

I was constantly reminded of being in my own backyard as a kid with my own wiffle ball bat.  I would go through lineup after lineup, but one thing remained the same.  Dale Murphy would always have the winning hit in my games.

This is a great book, and a must read for any baseball fan.  It reminds us again that baseball is a game and should be fun.  The stories he tells from childhood to young adulthood are quite humorous.  I mean how many people break into a minor league stadium to reenact the 1992 NLCS game 7 after a wedding rehearsal?

Do yourself a favor.  Pick up this book and take a relaxing stroll down memory lane.  You’ll laugh and remember what it is to be a kid again enjoying the great game.  Don’t forget to head over and check out the Batting Stance Guy’s website as well.  There are a lot of great videos to watch.  From the classic moments, to the best of lineups (an all-temper team anyone?), to past and present great stances, Gar Ryness will have you laughing and wanting to pick up your own wiffle ball bat to practice with.

You can pick up Batting Stance Guy: A Love Letter to Baseball anywhere books are sold.

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Stupid Human Tricks Baseball Style


If you are a fan of David Letterman like myself, you will recall watching countless episodes of stupid human tricks.  Well today I stumbled across one from the world of baseball.  The is a man who hits 10 balls in 10 seconds off of a pitching machine.  I am not sure what is more fascinating though.  The fact that he hits all 10, or that he doesn’t fall down after spinning around so many times.  Anyway, here it is.  I hope you enjoy it……at least a little.

If you like this video, please check out some others we have posted here.

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Open Letter to Chipper Jones


Dear Mr. Jones,

I have been a fan of the Atlanta Braves and you since I can remember.  I grew up watching the Braves in the 80’s when winning seemed as distant as landing on Mars,  but I persevered and I hope you can too.  I was the laughing stock in school for wearing my Braves hat, but that all changed in 1991.  All of a sudden there were Atlanta fans everywhere, and  I will be a fan until the good Lord takes me from this Earth.  I live and die every October with the rise and fall of the Braves, but I have to say it has been a wonderful ride.

I am writing to tell you why I, as a huge Braves fan, hopes you can also persevere and make it back for one more season. I understand me waiting year to year for a World Series is much easier than you recovering from knee surgery to make it back to the grueling schedule of 162 games.  But please hear me out as to why not only I want you to come back next year, but why Braves fans needs you back for one more year.

The Braves has seen some great players come along through its history.  The great Hammerin’ Hank, Eddie Mathews, Warren Spahn, Dale Murphy, John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, and one Larry Wayne Jones.  But the Braves have never had one of their great players go out as a Brave on a high note.  Hank Aaron went on to play with Milwaukee again (but this time as a Brewer) at the end of his career. Eddie Mathews ended his career in Detroit after playing for Houston.  Dale Murphy was traded to Philadelphia and finished his playing days in Colorado.  Greg Maddux finished up his days with the Dodgers and Padres.  John Smoltz played with Boston and St. Louis, and while Tom Glavine officially finished his career with Atlanta, it wasn’t the farewell tour everyone had hoped it would be since it was marred with injuries.

The Braves have not had one of their own Hall of Fame worthy stars end a season healthy as an Atlanta Brave.  I can remember everyone being excited about this Jones kid the Braves drafted in 1990.  I recall the excitement of getting your rookie baseball cards and thinking one day this will be the guy to take us to the World Series.  Little did I know it would be so soon.  I have so many fond memories of you playing with Atlanta; and I, like millions of others, don’t want my last memory of you playing being of you hurting your knee.

The one thing I have learned over the years watching you play is that there is no quit in you.  I was glad to see you said you were coming back to spring training next year.  One of my favorite memories from baseball was watching Cal Ripken Jr. play his last game in Texas at the Ballpark in Arlington in 2001.  It was nice to see such a great player make a farewell tour of stadiums.  He was able to dictate his own terms of leaving the game, and like Cal did everything, he did it with grace and a flair unlike any other.  I just hope the fans all around the country get that same memory with you.

Sincerely,

Eric – A Braves fan in South Korea via Texas – The Baseball Journeyman

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Houston Fan Dubbed “The Bailer”


This is one of the funniest videos I have seen in some time. A fan at a Houston Astros game thinks about catching a foul ball.  Then at the last second he changes his mind and bails.  See for yourself what happens next.

The Bailer Video

And to top it off – a nice play by new Atlanta Brave Rick Ankiel in CF.

Ankiel Dive

Coming up later this week.  An interview with KBO blogger and Busan Haps magazine writer Matthew Dewoskin.

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New Era (eFashion Solutions)

Quote of the Month

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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