[Mike Bowman/Unplash] 

Bored Without a Game to Watch? How About Korean Baseball?

17:51 May 06, 2020
By: Graham Andreae

While the MLB, NBA, and NFL may be postponing their seasons, sports fans have one reason for hope and escape: Korean baseball. The games being broadcast are available via ESPN, but more interesting are the quirks of the sport itself.

Though smaller than the MLB pool, Korea does have the occasional phenomenal talent worthy of the MLB, according to a New York Times article on the subject. The story said that the Korean Baseball Organization, or K.B.O., has a very offense-centric talent pool, with a very limited number of ballparks. There are only around 65 to 70 schools in the country that play baseball.

The Times reported that even professional baseball players such as Josh Lindblom, a pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers, was looking for live sports to watch and plans on tuning in to catch these games. In fact, Lindblom played out four and a half of his years as a player in the South Korean League.

One of the major complaints, even with live games occurring, is the lack of fans, which many argue takes some of the fun and color out of live games. Even more than in American baseball, Korean baseball is known for its lively audiences. The Times stated that for every team, there is a cheerleading squad that guides fans through the chants and songs, with tailor-made tunes for each player at bat.

Among the key teams in the league, some might say, are the Korean Yankees, Doosan Bears, and the Kia Tigers. The best aspect of watching this game is still the stars, which is really the fun part of any professional sport.

Although there are some parallels to be made between American and Korean baseball, there are cultural differences as well, such as Korean deference given when a pitch does hit a batter, which is dictated especially by the status of the pitcher relative to the hitter. The more senior the batter, the more gracious a bow is expected when the ball finds a human target. And spitting on the field is currently forbidden, The Times pointed out.

If you are looking to get into a live sport and don't mind a little culture shock, this could become a strange addiction for you. (Culture shock is often far superior to all other kinds of shock—or, at least, is the most fun.)

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