Bourgo: Korea’s Samsung Lions first spotted in Florida in 1985 for spring training

From SABR member Patrick Bourgo at the Korea Times on May 21, 2015:

With players like Ryu Hyun-jin and Kang Jung-ho jumping from the KBO to MLB, exchanges between the two leagues has become commonplace. Additionally, in recent years many Korean teams have been holding their spring training at MLB team facilities in Arizona and Florida.

The KBO and MLB have a long history together, longer than many might think. It was in 1998 that the first foreigners came to play in Korea, some of them with MLB experience, including Scott Coolbaugh, Shawn Hare and Junior Felix. However, the connection between the two leagues goes back even further.

After the conclusion of the KBO’s inaugural season in 1982 officials from both leagues began discussing the possibility of a KBO team visiting the United States. While the initial talks were optimistic, it was not until the spring of 1985 that anything came to fruition.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: May 22, 2015. Last Updated: May 22, 2015.