Tag Archive | "Fans"

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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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

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Busan – Sajik Stadium and the Lotte Giants


My planned trip to Taiwan fell through, but in the end it opened up a few more opportunities to see some baseball here in Korea.  One of my goals for this year was to see each stadium in the KBO.  Before this past weekend, I had only been able to make it to 3 of the 7 stadiums.  I go to knock two more off the list this past week.

I started off in Busan, home of the Lotte Giants.  The Giants have won the title 2 years but not since 1992.  They are one of the more popular teams in Korea, and inevitably when I ask a student who their favorite team is about half the time it is the Giants.  The Giants dominated the All-Star team this year placing 8 on the starting team for the East.

The Giants play their home games in Sajik Baseball Stadium.  Built in 1985, Sajik holds 28,500 people and is a nice stadium by KBO standards.  I was anxious to finally visit what I have heard is the “Mecca for Baseball” in Korea.  It didn’t disappoint.

The Giants are fighting with the LG Twins for the 4th and final playoff spot this year.  They have a potent offense filled with power hitters, but their pitching is a little susceptible which was on display Thursday night.

The game got out of hand early for Lotte when starting pitcher Lee Jae-gon gave up 7 runs on 3 HRs all in the 2nd inning. Two of the HRs were hit by the Kia Tigers leadoff man Lee Yong-gyu (who had 0 homers heading into the game). Lee Yong-gyu hit a 3-run homer in his first at bat and then a grand slam in his second at bat of the inning.  From there, Kia cruised to a 12-5 victory.

The stadium is very nice for Korean standards, but lacking by western standards.  It was still a nice experience and the weather couldn’t have been any nicer.  The best part of watching games in Busan is the cool nights.  With it being on the coast, it is usually cooler than other parts of the country.  The night I was there a nice breeze was blowing (and judging by the Kia bats it was blowing out).

I highly recommend anyone in Busan to take in a game.  The excitement was electrifying.  Even down 10 runs early, the Giants fans never stopped cheering on their team.  This seems to be pretty standard for the Korean fan, and honestly this is really endearing to me.  Any game back home would be dead silent after the visiting team goes up 10-0 in the 2nd inning, but to the Giant’s fans credit they never gave up.

Stay tuned – next up I will be writing about a trip I made to Incheon to see the league leading SK Wyverns.

‘Till then enjoy a few pictures from Busan.  If you would like to see more, feel free to check out my Flickr page.

Also don’t forget to check out the new video posted on the homepage.  It’s a great manager meltdown from the minors.

Sajik Baseball Stadium Busan, South Korea

Me and the Lotte Giants Mascot

Sajik Baseball Stadium Busan, South Korea

Rally Bags?

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Top 10 Baseball Songs


Nothing says summer like baseball.  The hot summer nights, hot dogs, cold drinks, and cheering for your favorite team.  Whether you are a Cubs fan who has waited a lifetime to see a championship or a spoiled Yankee fan, there is one thing that everyone can enjoy year round, music.

America’s love affair with baseball has always included music as well.  There are some really good songs that are either about baseball, or mention it.  So I have searched high and low trying to find my 10 favorite songs.  I hope you enjoy these, and if there are others I may have missed please let me know.  I am always looking for more great music.

Number 10

A Dying Cub Fan’s Last Request by Steve Goodman

Two-time Grammy winner Steve Goodman grew up in Chicago.  He is better known for writing songs like “City of New Orleans” or “You Never Even Call Me By My Name”, but Goodman penned this classic song about a dying Cub’s fan.

Number 9

Nolan Ryan (He’s a Hero to Us All) by Jerry Jeff Walker

Jerry Jeff is a Texas legend.  Here he writes about yet another legend from the Lone Star State.

Number 8

Joltin Joe DiMaggio by Les Brown Orchestra

This is one I remember as a kid.  Sure it came out in 1941, but it’s a classic baseball song and no list of mine would be without it.

Number 7

Say Hey by The Treniers

This is another classic I can remember listening to as a kid.  Plus it’s about one of the most gifted players to ever grace the field.

Number 6

Catfish by Bob Dylan*

Dylan is a rock legend.  Here he sings about Hall of Fame pitcher Catfish Hunter.

* I could only find a cover of this on YouTube

Number 5

Tessie by The Dropkick Murphys

This is an old song redone from a 1902 number in the musical The Silver Slipper. The newer version was released in 2004.

Number 4

Glory Days by Bruce Springstein

This song just screams summer to me.  Plus now that I am older, I can understand the song much better.  I have had those moments of remembering the glory days. And I too know a guy from high school that could throw that speed ball by you and make you look like a fool.

Number 3

Talkin’ Baseball by Terry Cashman*

This is by far my favorite song from when I was a kid.  Written in 1981 it details the history of baseball from the 1950’s to 1980.  It’s great to hear a lot of the names I only grew up reading about or seeing highlights of.  Plus it’s such a catchy tune.  After the song became such a hit, individual team songs were done but nothing tops the original.

* I couldn’t find the Talkin’ Baseball song on YouTube so I figured I would show you the next best thing – Talkin’ Softball from one of the greatest Simpson’s episodes.

Number 2

Cheap Seats by Alabama

One of my favorite all-time bands singing about minor league baseball.  It doesn’t get much better than this.  As I have gotten older and been able to travel more, I have a greater appreciation for minor league ball.  In fact, I love it.

Number 1

Centerfield by John Fogerty

There isn’t another song that gets me more pumped up to see a baseball game than this one.  It’s one of the few songs where if I hear the first few notes, I have to hear the whole song.  Even as I sit here today listening to the song, I am wanting to get out and throw the ball around.  Maybe I’ll head for the batting cages instead.

Songs in their own stratosphere

Take Me Out to the Ballgame – Without question this song belongs on any list about music and baseball.  Hearing this at Wrigley also has some extra special meaning.

The Star Spangled Banner – I still get goose bumps when I hear this at a ballgame and nothing upsets me more when people don’t pause when it is playing.  We owe everything to those who fight for our freedom, including being able to watch baseball.

These two songs belong on any list, but they are in their own category.  Together they are the greatest combination of music for baseball and they belong on a list of their own.

So what are your favorites.  I would love to hear what songs you enjoy.  Drop me a line and let the discussion begin.

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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.

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Do You Remember Your First Baseball Game?


I recently found out that a fellow English teacher here in South Korea had never been to a baseball game.  So I did what any baseball fan would do.  I drug him down to a game.  Thomas is from Scotland so he has never had a lot of exposure to the game.  After the game he was then kind enough to answer some questions for me regarding his experience.  So I will let Thomas take it from here.

1. What was your initial reaction when you arrived at the park and saw all the fans?

I was expecting there to be a lot of people at the park, and there were. What I wasn’t expecting was the atmosphere. The mood of the people there was so happy and carefree, like all inhibitions had been lifted and they could all be kids again. It’s something I’ve never really experienced in Korea before.

2. What did you think of the pace of the game?

Honestly, I thought the game was very slow. Having never been to a baseball game before, I don’t know if the pace was normal or slower than usual, but it seemed that there was a lot of milling around and wasted time between turns.

3. Was it an easy game to follow?

For the most part, yes. It took me a little while (and some explaining from yourself) for me to figure out the scoring system and how to read the scoreboard, but the actual play on the field was very easy to follow after that.

4. Korean fans are some of the more passionate, did you feel this was the case? (I should have specified passionate for baseball fans)

Having never been to another baseball game, I don’t can’t compare them to other baseball fans. However, I can say that the fans, compared to UK soccer and rugby fans (which is where my only other sport crowd experience lies) were very sedate, quiet and peaceful.

5. What did you think of the atmosphere inside the stadium?

The atmosphere inside the stadium was relaxed, fun and friendly. I thought it was awesome that there were kids playing ball all around the stadium, people of all ages chilling out on the seats, chanting and cheering. I liked that there fathers and sons together at the ga me, something that’s seen so rarely in this country.

6. What did you think of the ballpark?  (seats, food, etc..)

On this point, I was not happy. The stadium was small, the fans many and the seats few. There were hardly any facilities inside the stadium itself. I was expecting guys walking round with hot dogs and snacks, drinks all round and seats. Honestly, the reason I left the game early was that I was hungry and my legs were hurting. If I’d had a chair and some snacks, the experience would have been greatly enriched.

7. Would you like to see any changes to the game?

As a newcomer to baseball, I don’t really feel I have the right to suggest changes, but I do think it would be a little better with less time wasted between turns and innings.

8. would you return for another game?

Yes, most definitely.

9. Any additional thoughts/concerns?

I think it would be a good idea, if I go again, to bring some snacks and maybe a folding chair (like a little fishing stool), so I don’t have to stand. Alternatively, getting there early enough to grab a couple of seats would be a good idea.

I’d like to thank Thomas for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer my questions.  I would also like to point out he was gracious enough to trade his brand new Samsung Lions hat he bought before the game, to a young boy.  In return Thomas got a hat made out o f paper.  It absolutely made that young boys day.

Do you remember your first baseball game?  If you do, I’d like to hear about what you thought.

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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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