Friday, October 31, 2008

Korean Baseball Championship Series

Not a very interesting title, I realize, but it has the benefit of clarity to recommend itself.

In brief, Andrew was able to obtain a pair of tickets to Game 4 of the Korean League's championship series (just barely, as they were sold out moments later!) between the Doosan Bears and the SK Wyverns. Here we are before the action on the field begins:

Andy and me before the game
We were rooting for the Bears, mainly because they are the Seoul team (SK is in Incheon), and in my case, because I live in a Doosan officetel. Not that one needs rational reasons to support a particular team. In fact, 'fan' is short for fanatic, which means filled with excessive & mistaken enthusiasm, according to my trusty concise Oxford.

Well, the game started plus ungood, as the catcher misthrew while trying to pick off a runner at second, and it went, slowly, downhill from there. However, the Doosan fans remained enthusiastic throughout the game. Here's a partial explanation: the guy in the green shirt at the center of this photo is selling beer from a pony keg on his back:

Maekchu guy
I mentioned we got the practically the last available seats, which means general admission. We were close to the field, but in the left field bleachers; not a lot of action came our way. The photo below is a Wyvern player fielding a single--it's the only clear action shot I got:

Baseball action--SK player fields a ball in left
What's a wyvern? you're wondering. Glad you asked. I didn't know either. Turns out, it's a mythical, heraldic creature, a winged serpent along the lines of a dragon. It's also the mascot of the best team in the Korean League--they dominated this season, not-so-closely followed by Doosan, rather in the manner that Chris Evert-Lloyd was second place to Martina Navrotilova, back in the day.

Still, it was only 2 - 1 to SK at the sixth inning stretch. Yes, that's right: sixth inning stretch. The other big thing they get wrong from American baseball is the count: strikes and balls, instead of balls and strikes. A full count is 2 and 3, which makes the mind boggle momentarily before you remember, Welcome to Korea! Below is a video of the stretch activities, led by some famous Korean pop singer who is a big Bears fan:

The final score was 4 - 1, and afterward, Andy and I met up with his girlfriend at a beef galbi restaurant near Seoul National University. The food was really excellent.
Julie and Andy at galbi restaurant
Me grilling beef at our table

Oh, did I mention it was extremely late and I was fairly tipsy? Well, it was about 1 AM by the time we finished eating, and I was two-and-a-half sheets to the wind. Sure signs of a good time!


Tanner Brown said...

That post made me want to drink beer. So now I am.

Tuttle said...

Aha! Now I can begin to see a business model for my blog emerging!