I finally got to see a baseball game in Asia.

Mokdong Stadium, Seoul
Mokdong Stadium, Seoul

I couldn’t go in Japan because I was there during the playoffs, and good luck getting a ticket for that. I tried again in Taipei, but the ballpark was difficult to get to — about an hour and a half from central Taipei by train and bus. Getting to a ballgame in Korea is just easier.

korean baseball
The pitchers in the home team bullpen look a bit bored

My coworker made getting to the game even easier — she lives near Mokdong Stadium, which is only about 40 minutes on the metro from my apartment. I have been talking to her about going to a game since my first week here — I suppose I was finally annoying enough that she agreed to get tickets.

korean baseball
Play ball! I have no idea who’s at bat

It’s not easy getting into a game when you have no idea who the players are and you don’t have a favorite team. I just went along with the Nexen Heroes because they were the home team. But it was an semi-entertaining game. There were a lot of home runs (hit by the visiting team), and a 9th inning rally by the home team that was just too little, too late.

korean baseball
The Nexen Heroes mascot is no Mr. Met

I learned quite a bit about Korean baseball. Even the visiting team brings cheerleaders to its section — and they were quite loud while their team was at bat. And Korean teams have a lot of chants and songs for fans to sing. I also learned that the Korean pronunciation of Heroes has four syllables (I thought I only heard three, but I was corrected). If I lived here, I’d have to learn Korean to sing along with the team songs.

baseball program
The programs have quite a few pages of fashion advice

Seats in the outfield, from third base outward, are not assigned — you can sit wherever you want with those tickets. And the stadium doesn’t care if you bring your own food and beer into the stadium — we bought a few beers at the grocery store and fried chicken in the parking lot; other spectators brought in pizza. And concessions weren’t nearly as overpriced as Yankee Stadium (or any ballpark in the US for that matter).

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