The Korean Series is played over the best of seven games. This year the first two games took place at the Lions stadium in Daegu and the next two at Munhak, home of the Wyverns.
After that, if necessary, everyone moves to Jamsil Stadium for the remaining games. As the score stood at three-one to Samsung Lions after the first four games that meant that there would definitely be at least one game at Jamsil.
That was certainly good news in that it gave me the opportunity to see another play-off game. However the downside was that the tickets were sold out and the 6pm start meant that I wouldn’t be able to get there until three quarters of an hour into the game. By that time it was possible that all of the old granny touts would be sat at home working out exactly how many new sun visors they could buy with the profits from their ticket sales.
Now, I don’t suppose that too many ladies read this blog. Actually not too many blokes do either, but there’s probably a balance in their favour. However, if any ladies are reading, can I give you a bit of relationship advice? I know, I’m not really agony aunt material, but trust me this stuff is worth passing on. If you want to get in your fella’s good books, don’t make him go shopping with you or give him lists of DIY jobs to do around the house. Despite what you may want to believe, that rarely works. Instead you should get yourself along to the baseball stadium on your way home from work, find a tout and then pay him more than twice face value to buy your bloke a ticket for the big game. That’s what Jen did and doing stuff like that is one of the reasons why she’s an absolute star.
So, ticket in hand I was in the stadium for quarter to seven. The second innings was just drawing to a close and the game was still scoreless. There were quite a few empty seats in the main section where the latecomers with allocated seats would no doubt be wandering in over the next hour or so. I was in the outfield section and as expected, it was packed. There were some seats that were occupied by coats and boxes of fried chicken but most had people in them. The aisles were full too and the walkway at the back was crammed with picnickers and fans stood up to three deep on the rail at some points. I made my way right around to the far corner and found a spot on the railing near to that big post that helps the officials determine if a ball has been hit behind or not.
Samsung took the lead in the fourth innings when Kang Bong Gyu hit a solo home run straight into the Samsung fans to my right.
Both sets of fans were impressive, but I think the Samsung fans just shaded it with their inflatable lions. It was a little more subdued where I was stood, which is probably just as well as I needed to limit my beer intake. It would have been just too difficult to fight my way through the crowds to get to the toilets and I’d have lost my position on the rail if I had.
By the time we got to the ninth innings, Wyverns were still a run behind and Samsung closed the game out to take the Series 4-1.
That was the signal for the fireworks and the presentations. Most of the Wyvern fans stayed to applaud the winners which I thought was pretty decent of them. When you see the presentations at football finals in the UK half the stadium is empty before the players have even shook hands with each other, never mind picked up the cup.
And so that brings the baseball season to an end. It’s been a good year where I’ve completed my tour of the KBO stadiums with visits to Gwangju and Gunsan as well as watching games between local sides at small stadiums in places like Chuncheon and Jeju. Next season I’ll be looking to get to some games at the second tier ‘Futures League’, where although there will be fewer fireworks and inflatable lions, there will probably be more chance of getting to sit down.