Kim: An introduction to the Korea Baseball Organization

From Sung Min Kim at Baseball Prospectus on January 4, 2019:

I was born and raised until elementary school in South Korea. Some of my first sports memories consist of watching Korea Baseball Organization highlights at 9:45 every night on KBS Sports News. I remember going to an LG Twins vs. Doosan Bears game at Jamsil Stadium on Children’s Day (May 5) in 1999, where Doosan won a 10-9 thriller thanks to a walk-off home run by Ahn Gyeong-Hyun. I joined a Little League team that year to try my luck at becoming a baseball phenom, perhaps the next Lee Seung-Yeop (KBO’s all-time leader in home runs), but alas, the stars were not aligned.

My family moved to Connecticut in 2002. Even living in the United States from middle school through college, I kept up with the KBO while growing my MLB fandom. It’s been very fun following two different leagues closely and understanding both enough to compare and contrast their characteristics. I now live in Korea again, so I wake up turning on to catch a game from a different side of the world and then, about 10 hours later, watch the games happening in my home country. A double dose of baseball is pretty great.

I’m sure 99 percent of the readership here has MLB as their primary baseball follow. It may sound daunting to try to closely follow another entire league, especially when you don’t have a personal connection to that particular nation. But get this: It’s still baseball, and I’ve personally found a lot of joy in being able to understand and follow what’s going on in two different countries. My hope is that some of you fellow baseball nuts might feel the same way, so I’m going to be covering the KBO regularly for BP.

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Originally published: January 4, 2019. Last Updated: January 4, 2019.