Korean Baseball

So many of the teachers I know have been going to Korean baseball the past couple of weekends, which is a quite popular sport here. The World Cup Stadium where games happen is domeless so when the weather is nice- you can sit outside and catch a lot of sun. This past Saturday when I decided to go, it was 84 degrees and gorgeous.

I also wanted to see the LG Twins-one of two local home teams-who happen to use the name and logo of the Minnesota Twins. LG is the company that many of us might be familiar with through our cell phones-I was surprised when I got here and saw their logo plastered on air conditioners, and LG stores selling fridges and all kinds of electronic goods. Then there’s Samsung and Hyundai and sometimes it seems LG, Samsung and Hyundai own everything. Of course there are tons of small mom and pop shops so that’s not really fair—but as far as big brand names-these three companies hugely dominate many different markets. The thing I found most interesting was how many apartments they all own-I happen to live right by the ‘Samsung’ apartments-its large logo emblazoned on the side.

So anyways LG owns the Twins—but when we arrived I was a bit disappointed when I found out the other home team team, the Doosan Bears was playing SK Telecom.

It was still a lot of fun because the Korean fans are really enthusiastic and practically everyone has these plastic sticks that they bang together-as a louder alternative to clapping. Of course the opposing teams fans have sticks in another color. There’s men running up and down the stairs selling beer-instead of hot dogs there are squid snacks-and a KFC or Burger King to eat at

They have a small squad of Cheerleaders that dances nearly the entire time the home team is at bat-it looked like there was a drummer but the rest of the music they danced to was recorded. The ladies are lead by a man who looks like he’s playing the team coach of the dancers and the audience-with big gestures and his whistle.

The cheerleaders and the coach command a platform in front of the crowd up in the stands. When something good happens steam shoots into the air.

That Saturday a man proposed to his lady in a flurry of steam and cheers.

The game play itself was slow going at first-it was zero to zero until the 4th inning, then got exciting as the Bears had 5 runs but in the next two innings failed to scored, while SK had in the meantime scored 5 runs. It had to go into a 10th and the sun was setting by the time the Bears won. I would like to go back and see the alternate Twins play.

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