Bourgo: When Hank Aaron came to Korea

From SABR member Patrick Bourgo at the Korea Times on July 11, 2014:

Today, Korea is known around the world as a baseball powerhouse. Several players, such as Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin, have contributed to major league clubs. The nation has waged spirited campaigns in international competitions, including the World Baseball Classic.

Earlier in Korea’s baseball history, however, it was far rarer for players to be able to measure themselves against their American counterparts.

That’s why a visit in 1982 by an American delegation led by the legendary Hank Aaron marked such a momentous occasion.

Baseball has existed here for over 100 years, but when Hammerin’ Hank arrived, the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) was still in its initial stage, having just completed its inaugural season.

Aaron, who had been retired for several years, first visited the country by himself, invited by the Samsung Lions to put on some batting clinics. His long list of accomplishments was not lost on Koreans.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: July 10, 2014. Last Updated: July 10, 2014.