Posted on 07 April 2010.
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?
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.
Samsung Lions Game
Thomas as his first baseball game.
Thomas with his new hat.
Thomas’ old hat and one very happy young boy.