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KIA Tigers

henry sosa kia tigers gwangju south korea

Henry Sosa of the KIA Tigers

It feels like I’m stabbing my best friend in the back by saying this, but watching professional baseball in Korea (한국프로야구) is second to none. The players may not be as good as those found in Japan or as those playing in MLB, but watching a game with the crazy fans in Korea is a fantastic experience. Perhaps it is in part because I am in Gwangju and the fans for the local KIA Tigers are the craziest. For instance, when I watch a KIA Tigers away game on TV, the fans for the visiting KIA Tigers team are louder than those for the home team. When do you see that in the USA or even Japan?

Today’s photo is of Henry Sosa, formerly of the Houston Astros, who is one of two foreign players on the Tigers. Korea, like Japan, limits its foreign players to two per team. Unlike Japan, most, if not all, of the foreigners in Korea are pitchers. I have yet to see a single position player. Sometimes the starting pitching in a Korean Professional Baseball game will be foreigner against foreigner. Why? I don’t know. The Japan leader board for hitting is filled with foreigners, year after year. Josh Whitesell, Dae-ho Lee, Wily Mo Pena, Jose Ortiz, Casey McGehee, Alex Cabrera, and others have put up big numbers in Japan in recent years, but for some reason Korea seems to sign only pitchers. Maybe they feel like pitching is the area they need the most help?

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