Bourgo: When the St. Louis Cardinals played in Korea in 1958

From SABR member Patrick Bourgo at the Korea Times on August 30, 2016:

In this Major League Baseball (MLB) season, Oh Seung-hwan became the first Korean to play for the St. Louis Cardinals. But long before Oh became a dominant bullpen arm for the Cards, in fact long before he was born and before any Koreans played stateside, St. Louis got its first taste of Korean baseball.

In October 1958, the St. Louis Cardinals came to Korea for a goodwill tour at the invitation of the Hankook Ilbo, sister paper of The Korea Times. The contest was also sponsored by the Korean Amateur Baseball Association.

The Cardinals’ opponent was a team referred to as the Seoul All-Stars, or Korean All-Stars. This group was made up of players selected from the baseball teams of the Army, Navy, Air Force and the Korea Forwarding Company, which was a team that played in the Corporate League, a precursor to the pro league that started in 1982. Some of the players on the Korean side also represented their country in the national team that played in the first Asia Baseball Championship in the Philippines in 1954, and subsequent international competitions.

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Originally published: September 1, 2016. Last Updated: September 1, 2016.