Butcher: Korean baseball fans form growing communities

From Luke Butcher at Groove Korea on March 8, 2016:

The Korean Baseball Organization (KBO)-loving expat community has never been as big as it is today, and with an ever-increasing number of expats in Seoul it can only continue to grow. With more and more KBO players breaking into the US, where there will be no fewer than six Koreans plying their trade next year, interest from the outside is on the rise as well. Whether you are looking to get entangled in the weird world of the KBO for the first time or have never found a way of meeting other fans before, there are two fantastic communities out there for casual fans and enthusiasts alike.

For a start, one of the most famous baseball-related groups has its very own Korea chapter. SABR, or the Society for American Baseball Research, is one of the most well-known groups related to the sport around the world. The term “sabermetrics,” loosely meaning the use of advanced statistics in baseball, takes its name from the group since so many SABR members have been crucial in its development and acceptance, including Bill James, who coined the word himself.

But SABR is more than a group of statisticians getting excited about WHIP (for non-baseball fans, it’s not as exotic as it sounds). Members publish historical records, stories and general theories on baseball and, if you are a big baseball fan, you could get lost in a vortex of time and space looking through their work or attending a meeting.

The Korea branch was founded in 2013 by Thomas St. John and Patrick Bourgo, two people with a wealth of experience in the KBO as fans, writers and working within the game itself. As John explained, SABR welcomes a broad membership. “SABR is for the analytics but it is also a social network for those, in this case, who love baseball, want to know more, or are really into the mathematical aspects of the game,” he points out. “If you like baseball and what goes well with it, like beer, chicken, and the odd dried squid, you’ve found a new home.”

Read the full article here: http://groovekorea.com/article/kbo-fans-from-the-casual-to-the-hardcore-form-growing-communities/


Originally published: March 25, 2016. Last Updated: March 25, 2016.