Doosan Bears v Nexen Heroes, Wednesday 2nd June, 6.30pm

I made my second trip to a baseball game last night. I’d had the day off work because it was polling day in a variety of local elections, but I hadn’t really done very much. I’d been out the night before with colleagues and had a bit of a hangover. At lunchtime I nipped out for a pint of milk but then changed my mind and got on the subway instead. It’s only three stops to the baseball stadium so I thought I’d see if there was a game on.

I know that seems a bit of an arse on in the age of the internet, but I’ve yet to find a fixture list in English for the baseball games and it is only three stops, which is about ten minutes ride. It was pretty quiet when I got there so I had a walk around the stadium, got some lunch and read the paper. They don’t cover the baseball games in the English language newspapers either, but they had the details of the World Cup squad. Lee Dong Gook had made the final twenty three despite not being expected to be fit until the second game of the tournament, the match against Argentina. The report reckoned that as Korea seemed to be playing lately with just the one striker; his best chance of getting on the pitch would be if they were chasing a late goal. Still, after being left out of the 2002 World Cup squad and missing 2006 through injury I expect he is relieved just to be on the plane.

Whilst I was there I tried to have a look inside the Olympic Stadium. I was hoping that there would be a door open somewhere and I could run the 100m. I’ve got a bit of previous for that sort of thing, recreating Mary Peters Pentathlon gold in the Olympic Stadium in Munich as few years back. I also re-enacted Gerd Muller’s winning goal in the World Cup final the same afternoon. I managed to swivel and shoot with a glass of wine in my hand too, which made it just that little bit more impressive, I thought, and made up for having to use an imaginary ball. Anyway, the gates were all locked, so I’d have to wait until another time to play at being Ben Johnson. Shame really, as after the previous nights drinking, my eyes had that yellow tinge that Ben acquired by having steroids for his tea.

There were a lot of statues and monuments to the 1988 Olympics, including a wall engraved with the names of the gold medalists. Steve Redgrave was on there, although that’s not surprising. He will have his name inscribed at more places than the most prolific graffiti taggers. As I read the names I recalled Malcolm Cooper winning his shooting gold and the hockey team getting theirs. I paused at the boxing list and noticed Lennox Lewis on the list for Canada and also Ray Mercer at the weight below. At light middle there was a Korean that I didn’t recognize, but I remembered his triumph. He was the lad who got that outrageous decision over Roy Jones. I don’t know why, but I couldn’t resist a bit of a chuckle.

As I wandered back towards the Baseball stadium a military helicopter flew overhead. I’ve seen one or two lately, no doubt as a consequence of the South getting its act together in case things escalate with the North. It doesn’t seem to be a big deal amongst the people in Seoul, despite this being the likely place that any missiles would be aimed. I prefer it that way, no sense worrying about stuff you can’t control so you might as well get on with life as normal.

Speaking of which, there was a queue at the ticket office and an electronic sign indicating that there was a game that evening between the Doosan Bears and the Nexen Heroes. It didn’t start for another four hours though at 6.30pm. That was a bit too long to hang around and so I got the subway back to my flat, undecided as to whether to return later.

By six o’clock I’d just about forgotten about the baseball as I was doing other stuff. I glanced at my watch, remembered it and thought, sod it, why not? An evening at the baseball sat in the sun with a couple of beers sounds ideal. I set off and fifteen minutes later I was there. I bought an 8,000 won ticket for high up in the main stand, Block 312 and three cans of Cass beer from one of the old biddies outside.

 I took my seat with a minute to go before the start, missing all the pre-match stuff like the celebrity introductions, the ceremonial first pitch and the national anthem.

It was another good night; Doosan Bears were well supported by an enthusiastic crowd. Later I moved further around the curve and sat near the few hundred Nexen fans, they made plenty of noise too. I drank my cans in the sunshine then got a couple more. I quite like the rhythm of baseball, the ebb and flow as they alternate batting with fielding every ten or fifteen minutes. There are some moments of tension too, as the batting team ‘loads the bases’ as I believe they say, or when a pitcher has already thrown the three ‘wide’ balls he is allowed. Even more so if he has also thrown two ‘strikes’.

Not that it really mattered, but Nexen won 7-1. I’ll probably get along to a few more games I think.

2 Responses to “Doosan Bears v Nexen Heroes, Wednesday 2nd June, 6.30pm”

  1. Cogstar Says:

    bloody hell mate do you have any work to do? more postings that my mate Glyn (he’s a postman and a bit quick on the hills to)

  2. onthetrailofthelionking Says:

    They tend to come in quick bursts after lengthy spells of inactivity. I’m catching up now before the world cup. 2 more to post.

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