Tag Archive | "Daegu"

Best Baseball Stadiums in Korea


One of my goals this year was to see a game in all of the stadiums here in Korea.  There are 7 stadiums in the KBO.  Most of them are older and outdated.  The teams here are used more as marketing objects than money makers so little is put back into the stadiums.  I visited my last stadium after visiting Daejeon Baseball Stadium on the last day of the season.  After seeing the last stadium, I decided to rank the stadiums of the KBO.

Here are my rankings of the 7 in the league.

#7 Moodeung Stadium – Home of the Kia Tigers

Clearly the worst stadium is Moodeung Stadium in Gwangju, home of the Kia Tigers. The most successful team in KBO league history (10 championships) has not use any of that success to upgrade the ballpark. The seats are falling apart, the stadium is plain and ugly with everything made of concrete, and there is nothing aesthetically appealing about the stadium at all. But it doesn’t stop there. The concession choices are limited, and what they do have is not very good.

Moodeung Baseball Stadium Kia Tigers

Moodeung Baseball Stadium - Home of the Kia Tigers

#6 Daegu Baseball Stadium – Home of the Samsung Lions

Daegu Baseball Stadium is only a slight step up from Moodeung. Again a concrete monstrocity, the stadium is crammed with little room to move around with narrow isles. The seats are old and uncomfortable, and the food that is offered is not very good. When going to a game here bring in your own food. The only positive that can be pulled form this stadium is the atmosphere. With so many fanatical fans, the stadium can be rocking when full, but that is league wide and not specific to Daegu.

Daegu Baseball Stadium Samsung Lions

Daegu Baseball Stadium - Home of the Samsung Lions

#5 Daejeon Baseball Stadium – Home of the Hanwha Eagles

Another horrible stadium by American standards, Daejeon Baseball Stadium gets the nod over Daegu simply for their concessions being out among the stands instead of on a concourse away from the action. Again an old, run down place to watch a game with not a lot offered as far as food selection, the stadium could use a lot of work.

Daejeon Baseball Stadium Hanwha Eagles

Daejeon Baseball Stadium - Home of the Hanwha Eagles

#4 Jamsil Baseball Stadium – Home of the LG Twins and Doosan Bears

The only stadium shared by two teams, Jamsil was built in the early 80’s like most other stadiums in Korea. It hosted the 1988 Olympic Baseball Games and is situated next to Seoul Olympic Stadium. This is one of the bigger stadiums in the league holding over 30,000. It’s a nice place to see a game and reminds me a lot of the old cookie-cutter fields from the USA. The food selection is much better here with more choices inside and out of the stadium.

Jamsil Stadium LG Twins Doosan Bears

Jamsil Baseball Stadium - Home of the LG Twins and Doosan Bears

#3 Sajik Baseball Stadium – Home of the Lotte Giants

Sajik is also known as the Mecca for Korean Baseball. It is a nice stadium that really benefits from being in Busan on the coast. Many nights the air will get cooler and a nice breeze will blow in off the water, which makes the game a bit more enjoyable during summer. It is one of the bigger stadiums holding over 28,000 fans, and might be the most energetic stadium. The food selection is good with a lot of variety, the fans are phenomenal, and it’s just a great place to see a game.

Sajik Baseball Stadium Lotte Giants

Sajik Baseball Stadium - Home of the Lotte Giants

#2 Mokdong Baseball Stadium – Home of the NEXEN Heroes

I got a really good feeling when I visited Mokdong Stadium. It is in the middle of the pack as far as size holding around 18,000. I really enjoyed the stadium because I got the same feeling I did when I went to minor league games in the States in that I felt close to the game. There is no seating in the outfield so it forces you down the baselines where you get the feeling of being close to the players. The food selection was decent, and the fans were again very enthusiastic even for a losing team.

Mokdong Baseball Stadium NEXEN Heroes

Mokdong Baseball Stadium - Home of the NEXEN Heroes

#1 Munhak Stadium – Home of the SK Wyverns

Clearly in a class of its own, Munhak Stadium is a great place to watch a game. This is the only stadium in Korea that could come close to a Major League Stadium in America. Really the only thing it might lack is a lot of luxury boxes. It would make a great minor league stadium as is. It has the look and feel of a great stadium with a grass area in left field to throw down a blanket and watch the game. In right field there is a BBQ area where you can rent a space and cook during the game. It is also the only recently built stadium having been built in 2001. This is the #1 place to see baseball in Korea.

Munhak Baseball Stadium SK Wyverns

Munhak Baseball Stadium - Home of the SK Wyverns

Honorable Mention
Suwon Baseball Stadium – This stadium is no longer being used in the KBO, but it is better than half of the stadiums in use. It is the former home of the Hyundai Unicorns, which is now the NEXEN Heroes. The stadium is still used for high school tournaments.

Suwon Baseball Stadium

Suwon Baseball Stadium - Former Home of the Hyundai Unicorns

Follow The Baseball Journeyman on Twitter or Facebook. And don’t forget to join our RSS feed for all the latest information.

Posted in KBO, Travel, StadiumsComments (5)

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.
If you like what you have read, please join our RSS feed or you can find us on Facebook.

If you want to see more pictures of H Fitness, you can view them on Flickr here.

Posted in InterviewsComments (0)

Incheon – SK Wyverns and Munhak Baseball Stadium


Last week during my summer vacation, I got the chance to make a trip up to Seoul/Incheon and see the home of the SK Wyverns.  I was glad I made the trip.  Munhak Baseball Stadium is the best stadium I’ve seen in so far in Korea.  I have been to 5 of the 7 used by the KBO, and this one really stands out as the gem of the league.

The stadium was built in 2001 and holds 28,500 people.  Maybe a little small for MLB standards, but this one is nice no matter what league you play in.  The stadium has all the amenities you would normally find in a professional stadium, plus a few extras.  Above the left field stands is a small grassy area where families can spread a blanket and have picnics. In the right field stands there is an area where you can have BBQs.  Both areas were full of patrons on the Friday night I was there.  Two large video boards sit in above the outfield seats and bring you all the information and highlights you need.  The hitters background in center field is a tree lined area where a fountain will go off when a Wyverns player hits a home run.

I was treated to a pitching duel that included former major leaguer Roman Colon of the Kia Tigers. Colon pitched great but in the end would be saddled with the loss.  An error in the first inning would lead to an unearned run, and that would be the difference in the end as SK would beat Kia 2-1.

The SK fans were awesome.  Cheering and screaming the entire game.  The one thing that stood out from the cheerleading was hearing what sounded like the music to New Kids On the Block’s Hanging Tough.   Repeatedly they would play this music while cheering on their team.  Each time it came on I would crack a little smile and think about the little league games I played in.  There was a team I played against and for that would play hanging tough between innings.  Thankfully the league finally banned them from playing music.

One thing I really enjoyed about Munhak Stadium was that with 1 ticket you could walk around just about anywhere in the stadium to sit.  The general admission seats run 8,000 won and run from dugout through the outfield to the opposite dugout.  There isn’t a bad seat in the house.  I watch some of the game from the outfield, to the infield, to the seats high up above home plate.  All were great places to see the game.

There was one fan that stood out.  Anytime there was music, he was waving his hands around in a circular motion like a madman.  It was quite funny to see this guy do this EVERYTIME there was music.  No matter if it was a short 10 second clip of music or for almost 2 minutes between innings, he was going at it and going hard.  Below you will see a picture of him.  I have dubbed him the Wyverns #1 fan.  I took a video of him (I was in the upper deck so he is a little small), but it’s worth a look.  Enjoy.

I highly recommend taking in a game in Incheon if you are ever in Seoul.  It’s just a subway ride away, and you won’t be disappointed.  Take a look at some of the photos I took while at the game.  If you’d like to see more of Munhak Stadium, please check out my Flickr page.

Munhak Baseball Stadium

View from CF Munhak Baseball Stadium

With the SK Wyverns Mascot

SK Wyverns #1 Fan

Posted in KBO, StadiumsComments (1)

High School Baseball in Korea


I had the opportunity to see a few games this weekend in the Daebung Flag Championship here in Daegu.  It was an interesting experience to take in high school baseball in Korea for the first time.  So I thought I would share my observations from the games.

I was able to take in the quarterfinals and semifinals, so I got to see some good baseball.  The first thing that stood out to me was how fundamentally sound they were.  Sure there were errors, but overall they were very sound defensively for this age group.  They did the little things quite well: pitcher covering first, hitting cut-off men, and always knowing where to throw the ball in a given situation.   Granted these teams were the better ones in the tournament, but I was still impressed.

The pitching was solid.  Most threw between 110 to 125 kph (68-77 mph).  One pitcher late in the day Saturday got it up to 137 kph (about 85 mph), but the majority of them threw in the mid to high 70s.  There were also a lot of sidearmers pitching.  Each team seemed to have a few of them.  I was also impressed with the depth of pitching.  I didn’t see a drop off until late Saturday.  By this time each team had played 4-5 games.  That takes a lot of depth to play that many games over the course of 4 days.

The hitters were good as well, and they hit with wooden bats.  I don’t know if this is what they use during non-tournament games, but I would assume so.  They hit well with them, so I know this wasn’t something completely new to them.

The one thing that bothered me about the hitters was the body armor most of them wore.  I am not a big fan of this at any level.  There were several hit batters that was clearly due to the fact they had on the elbow pad.  I don’t like the fact the hitter isn’t afraid to get hit.  That’s fine if he isn’t wearing any padding, but when he is I don’t like it.  Getting hit is part of the game, and so is the inside pitch which is far less effective when the hitter leans in with his elbow pad to take first base.

There were a lot of triples.  The outfield played pretty shallow.  I assume due to the use of wooden bats.  This did allow them to take away what would normally be hits, but when someone would put one in the gap it turned into a triple because they could not cut it off.

The managers get away with murder and aren’t tossed.  I don’t know if it has to do with how much they respect their elders here, but if you did half of what some of these guys did back home, you would be tossed so quick you wouldn’t know what hit you.  I found it interesting too at how they would argue sometimes.  One coach made a point to pull his team off the field when he was arguing a call.  That was something I had never seen before.

There is a lot of respect for the other team and umpires shown by the players.  Before their first at bat, players would take off their helmet and bow to the home plate umpire.  The fielders would also do the same in the first inning to the umpires in the field.  Korean culture has a lot to do with respect for those older than you which is good.  After the games, the two teams would line up facing one another, then bow and say something.  They would then cross each others lines and bow to the opposing teams dugout.  The winning team would then turn and face the stands and bow to their fans.

Before the 6th inning starts, there is a break.  It usually lasts about 10 minutes.  Most teams would just rest in the dugout while the umpires went underneath the stands for a breather.  I don’t think I would like this if I am playing.  Especially if you have momentum.  I can’t think of a better momentum killer than stopping the game like this.

One of the funnier things I saw was in the stands.  Sure the fans that were there, and there weren’t many, really got into the game by cheering like they do at any event, but the thing that really got me smiling were the foul balls.  Back home you would seen any small child running after a foul ball and fighting over them.  Here it is the same except it isn’t the kids running after them.  It’s grown men.  I saw men jumping over rows to get balls, running down balls that went down the concourse, and 3 or 4 men almost diving for a ball in the stands trying to come up with a souvenir.

Over all I was quite pleased with my trip.  I am a little disappointed I can’t watch the final today, but it is raining continuously.  I am sure it will be played tomorrow instead but I have to work.  I’ll keep an eye on the KBA website to see who wins.  Both are hometown teams from Daegu.

Next up I am hoping to make a trip to see some college ball in a tournament starting next weekend.  It runs for over a week so I have 2 weekends to try and take in a game.

Posted in Asia, Junior BaseballComments (0)

Daebung Flag High School Tournament


I was really excited to see some high school baseball this weekend, and I was not disappointed.  Since 1979, the Daebung Flag Championship has been played in Daegu.  It is a 22 team tournament that is held every year and played at the home of the KBO’s Samsung Lions.

I decided to take off on Friday to go check out the action in the 32nd annual tournament.  I was quickly glad I made the trip.

I arrived about noon on Friday and caught the end of the first quarterfinal game.  And what is the first thing I see, a triple play.  It was the first one I have ever seen in person.  The situation was runners at 1st and 2nd.  The batter hits a hard line drive to center field, but the runners were running so it was an easy triple play.  I wound up watching the last few innings of this game, then I got ready for the 2nd game of the day.

Game 2 of the day was quite a treat.  Both teams were playing well.  The pitching was quite good, in fact I think they might have been throwing their aces.  The visiting team jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first half inning.  The home team responded in the bottom of the inning with a run of its own.

Most of the game was a pitching duel.  The visiting team starter went 8 innings gave up 1 run, 3 hits, and only walked one.  The most surprising thing was he was relieved after the 7th inning and put into right field.  However, his relief gave up 2 straight triples.  So with the score 3-2, not outs, and a runner at third, they brought him back into get out of the inning.  Amazingly he does just that.  On three ground balls, he gets out of the inning without allowing the tying run to score.  He dominated the entire game, but his counterparts put up quite the fight.

The starter for the home team pitched well, but he walked too many batters to get too far into the game.  He wound up going only 4 1/3 innings, but he pitched well.  It was the 5 walks that wound up doing him in.  After a few relievers, the team was out of quality pitching.  The last one in wound up giving up 4 runs in the top of the 9th, and they never threatened again.  The box score is below.

[ daebunggi High School Baseball Championship]
2010-07-09 12:50 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 R
WIN Gyeongbukgo 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 7
Inchanggo 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2

After that exciting game, I went for a walk to get some lunch.  I returned to see game 3 of the day which turned out to be quite entertaining.  Both teams were equally matched and errors would wind up costing one team the win.  But the thing that I will take away from this game was the manager of the winning team, Yusingo.

I will never understand why he wasn’t tossed for his antics.  It all started with a hit batter.  The batter did not try to get out of the way, and the ball barely grazed him.  I could hear it from my seat on top of the dugout.  He apparently did not think it hit him.  It was the strangest argument ever.  He comes out and doesn’t say a word.  The umpire explains to him what happened.  Then the coach, still not having said anything to the umpire, talks to his catcher.  He then explodes and starts yelling at the umpire.

Then it really got interesting.  As he is arguing, he waves for his team to leave the field, which they do.  The entire time the assistant coach is trying to calm him down and get him back in the dugout.  This goes on for a few minutes, and the team is off the field near the dugout.  The manager then feels it is important for him to leave.  I thought he got tossed.  He grabbed his bag and slowly left the field.  Now the team resumes play, but it doesn’t stop here.  A few batters later a pitching change is needed, and low and behold he comes out to make the change.  He had walked through the maze underneath the stands back to the dugout.  This is when I realized he hadn’t been tossed.  This is all in the bottom of the 8th.

This wasn’t even the first time he argued.  Right as I came back from lunch he was in the face of the same umpire.  He had to be restrained by his assistant coach the entire time.  And it wouldn’t be his last hurrah.

In the bottom of the 9th, he marches out and walks to talk to the official scorer or someone in the press box area behind home plate.  The home plate umpire has had enough now, and they begin to yell at each other.  This stops down play for another 5 minutes or so.  Why he was upset, I don’t know, but he was becoming a human rain delay.  It was all so strange, and more so because he never got thrown out of the game.  If anyone did half of what he did here in the states, he would be tossed so quick his head would spin.

His team would wind up winning due to errors by the infield of the opposing team, who I thought was the better overall team.  It was a great game to watch with all the drama.  I only wish I knew everything that was said and why he was arguing the third time.  Box score is below.

[ daebunggi High School Baseball Championship]
2010-07-09 15:40 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 R
WIN Yusingo 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 2 2 6
Jejugo 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 4

I also got to test out my new camera which I really love using.  Below are a few pictures.  If you enjoy these, check out more at my flickr page.


Posted in Asia, Junior BaseballComments (0)

Seoul Searching


This weekend should be an exciting one for me.  I am leaving Colorful Daegu and heading north to Seoul for some weekend baseball action.  There are 3 stadiums in the Seoul area with 2 in Seoul and 1 in neighboring Incheon.

After a train ride north to Seoul, I’ll be heading to Mokdong Stadium to see the visiting Kia Tigers take on the NEXEN Heroes.  This is the smallest stadium of the 3 and that is the reason I wil

l hit it up on Friday.  I hope the weather holds out for the game.  Right now they are calling for rain most of Friday.

Saturday the weather should clear up.  The temps will still hover around 60 degrees which will make for a nice cool evening to see a game.  I’ll be heading to Incheon on Saturday to see Munhak Stadium, home of the SK Wyverns.  SK will be taking on the Lotte Giants.  Right now SK is atop the league with a 15-5 mark.

Sunday will wrap up at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul with a contest between the visiting Hanwha Eagles against the LG Twins.

During the day I will be checking out some of the sites in Seoul that interest me, but the main part of the trip is to check out the stadiums.  I plan to see all 7 in the league, and this trip will put me at 4 if I am able to see all 3.  It should be a good weekend and I will report back here early next week with all the details.

Until then, I hope you get in some baseball as well and have a great weekend.

TBJM

Posted in KBOComments (0)

Daegu Baseball Stadium


Daegu Baseball Stadium

Home of the Samsung Lions

Located near downtown Daegu, Daegu Baseball Stadium has the feel of a small town stadium.  I have really enjoyed my trips to the stadium but it has nothing to do with the stadium itself.

The atmosphere is what makes this stadium great.  The fans are passionate and they seem to be fairly knowledgeable.  The cheering is frantic and often.  The chants from behind the home team dugout are amazing.  The energy the fans have here is simply amazing.

There are some downsides though.  The Lions are playing well right now, so the games I have attended have been packed with fans.  The seating is the biggest flaw.  The majority of seats are general admission and are first-come first-served.  A lot of the fans get there early to get seats and generally take up more than needed.  They will use the extra seats to set their food down leaving the rest of the fans to either stand, which many do, or sit on the ground somewhere.  The stadium holds 13,941, but I think they sell standing room only tickets as well.  The games are really packed with fans which makes for an electric environment.

The food selection is nothing like what you would find back home in the States, but it really isn’t the same anywhere here in Asia.  Instead of hot dogs you will find cup of noodles, mandu (dumplings), and other assorted goodies.  Food and beverages can be brought in which is always nice as well.  Chicken is a favorite it seems at games.  There is a row of stands outside the stadium that sell fried chicken and other goodies.

I purchased some chicken strips from a vendor before the game.  The quality was quite nice and it was enough to feed 2 people for 5,000 won or around $5.  It’s definitely worth bringing in some of your favorite foods since the selection at the games are thin.   I have seen many people bringing in pizzas and other goodies from outside restaurants so anything goes.

The ballpark itself is old.  It was built in 1981 and is typical for a stadium built in that time.  A lot of concrete and not a lot else.  The seats are old and do not have the extras you will find in the states such as cup holders and arm rests.  Some of the seats have tables in front of them making it easier for people to eat/drink during the game.  These are not the majority however and the few that exist for the general admission crowd I would assume go rather quick after the gates open.

Overall Daegu Baseball Stadium is a fun place to see a game but that has nothing to do with stadium itself.  The fans make this a place worth stopping in to catch a game.

Posted in StadiumsComments (0)

Korean Baseball Organization is Going Green in 2010


The Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) is going green this year.  In an effort to cut down on the electricity used during games, the KBO is installing new rules for the 2010 season.  Pitchers will now have 12 seconds to make the next pitch.  The first infraction will be a warning with the insuing infractions ruled as a ball to the batter.  I guess this effectively eliminates any possibility that Vincente Padilla would ever play in Korea.

Other steps are being installed to cut down on the length of games.  Batters will be encouraged to go to the plate quickly, and all bullpen cars will be electric.  Some stadiums will also use solar power in parts of the park and some will switch to more energy efficient LED lights.

Korea is not the first to implement such rules.  Japan took similar steps in its professional baseball league in 2008 to shorten games.

I am looking forward to March 27th and opening day here in Daegu, South Korea.

Citizens Stadium - Daegu, South Korea

Posted in KBOComments (0)


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

Polls

Who Will Win the 2014 World Series?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
film izle yerli film izle
üniversite taban puanları lys konuları