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Posts tagged sajik baseball stadium

Sidearm pitcher Sung-bae Kim of the Lotte Giants

137_2092 lotte giants submarine pitcher

Sung-bae Kim, submarine pitcher

Kim had a good year last year for the Giants (of Busan, South Korea) with an ERA of 3.05 and 31 saves. He also struck out nearly three batters for each one that he walked. Korea is a hitter’s league so these stats are better than they may appear compared to MLB or Japan.

Look closely at the crowd. Late in the game nearly everyone pulled out an orange plastic bag, blew it up, and put it on their heads. I have no idea why. I never saw this happen in Gwangju at the Tigers games except the one time they were playing the Giants in which case a few of the visiting fans did the same thing.

MLB begins in just two weeks

korean baseball lotte giants busan

I’m not sure when the Korean season begins, but my Kia Tigers will be moving in to their new Champions Field. Today’s photo isn’t from Gwangju though. This is the home stadium of the Lotte Giants in Busan. One of the Giants hit this ball off the wall.

Nice catch by the SK Wyverns centerfielder

korean baseball centerfielder nice catch

Chris Seddon of the SK Wyverns

Chris Seddon wyverns left handed pitcher

Chris Seddon

I mentioned previously that all of the foreign players (limit 2 per team) in Korea are pitchers. I think there was at least one foreign pitcher who played in every one of the half dozen games I went to. Chris Seddon was one of them, pitching against the Lotte Giants. Chris played for the Marlins, Mariners, and Indians in the bigs before landing in Korea.

Notice the chewed up infield in the above photo. This despite the fact that Busan is supposed to have the best stadium in Korea.

Sajik Baseball Stadium (사직야구장)

panorama photomerge lotte giants stadium busan korea

Sajik Baseball Stadium – Busan, South Korea

One of the problems with watching live baseball in Korea is the amount of netting they put up around the field. One time at a game, when I was sitting next to a Korean who could speak English, I asked him why all the netting and whistles with every foul ball. He told me that a video of a fan getting hit in the eye with a foul ball (and subsequently losing eyesight in that eye) in the USA made the rounds in Korea and it freaked people out. At the KIA Tigers games I purchase seats a little above the netting so that the net doesn’t obstruct my view. That wasn’t possible at Sajik Baseball Stadium as nearly every seat has a net-obstructed view. I couldn’t take it anymore after a few innings so I headed down to one of the first few rows far down the foul line which were the only seats without a net in front of them. There was an usher checking tickets to get into this section, but I just walked past him. He figured it was easier to let me go then try to have a conversation with me in English.

Called safe

wyrens lotte giants slides steal safe call stolen base sk wyverns

Kim Jae-Hyun (김재현) steals second

문규현 Mungyuhyeon wyrens lotte giants safe call stolen base
137_2119wyrens lotte giants safe call stolen base

As I mentioned elsewhere, I went to Busan, in part, to check out Sajik Baseball Stadium (사직야구장). I saw the SK Wyverns take on the Lotte Giants. To be perfectly honest, I was a bit disappointed.

Wiki calls Sajik Baseball Stadium the “mecca for Korean baseball”, but I find the games in Gwanju at Mudeung Baseball Stadium (RIP in 2013) to be much more fun. Everyone is closer to the field. The seats are closer together. The people are friendlier, and even though there aren’t nearly as many fans in attendance, they somehow sound louder. New ballparks with all of their frills just can’t capture that old ballpark feel.

The KIA Tigers fans are all anxiously awaiting the opening of their new stadium for next season, but they may be losing something, something magical, in the move from their old digs.

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