Samsung Lions v Nexen Heroes, Sunday 15th April 2012, 2pm

This wasn’t a game that we’d planned to see. Jen and I should have been watching a Futures League fixture at Gyeongsan but it had started and finished earlier than we had expected. With it being a sunny day we thought that we might as well watch some KBO baseball and so we got a taxi from Gyeongsan that dropped us outside of the Daegu Stadium just as the game was starting.

It was busy outside.

There were only outfield seats at seven thousand won remaining and by the time we had bought a couple of tickets and made our way inside the game was ten minutes old.

It was still scoreless in the first innings as we looked for vacant seats. You know how it is, I’ve moaned about it often enough, but the ground could be half empty and there would still be nowhere to sit due to people using seats to put their food, coats and bags on. Then there are the seats saved for non-existent friends. If I could suggest one improvement to Korean baseball it would be to have stewards whose job it is to stop people abusing the free-seating policy in the outfield area.

Fortunately we spotted a pair of seats near the scoreboard and were able to sit down. I suspect that if we had arrived ten minutes later then we would have been standing at the back.

Plenty of seats.

The number 36 for Samsung, Lee Seung Yeop, was popular with the home fans. I had a look for him online afterwards and it turns out that he’s one of the best Korean players ever and has just returned to Samsung Lions this season after eight years in the higher-level Japanese league. In the nine seasons that he spent with Samsung before moving to Japan he was voted KBO MVP in five of them.

Lee holds plenty of records and won an Olympic gold medal in 2008. I suppose you could summarise it all by saying that he hits a baseball further than most people do. He did his popularity with the fans no harm in that opening innings when his first hit got him to second base, allowing a team mate to put the first run on the board. Lee Seung Yeop followed him home a few minutes later to make it two nil to Samsung.

Lee Seung Yeop - Samsung Lions

The Samsung lead lasted until the third innings when a Nexen player hit a four run homer that clipped the top of the fence before going over.  Those are the fine margins that can make such a difference. The next ball Nexen’s Kang Jung Ho hit one in the same direction but with just a little more force. It cleared the fence with ease to make it five–two to Nexen.

Samsung pulled a run back in the third, but in the fifth innings Kang Jung Ho clattered another one into the crowd for Nexen, hopefully landing in the picnic that someone had spread over an empty chair. The two run homer extended the visitor’s lead to seven-three.

Kang Jung Ho trots around after another home run.

Samsung don’t lose that many games. They certainly don’t lose many to Nexen and it wasn’t long before the home fans were starting to make their way out. Those that remained were understandably subdued although they did knock out a song to the tune of Cum On Feel The Noize. I wonder if Noddy Holder knows that Korean baseball fans sing along to one of Slade’s hits. I remember seeing them at Boro Town Hall in 1980 when they were in their heavy metal phase. The next day at school everyone was walking around with a sore neck from the head-banging and with ears that were no use for anything other than keeping your glasses on. To make it worse, we didn’t even get to hear Merry Christmas Everyone as they refused to play it. Although with it being February, I suppose that they had a point.

Nearly forty years on and now sung at Korean baseball.

Samsung pulled a couple of runs back in the sixth when Lee Seung Yeop scored a two run homer and then they got to within a single run of Nexen in the eighth, just before we left to catch our train. I checked later and Samsung finally went down ten-seven in the tenth.

One Response to “Samsung Lions v Nexen Heroes, Sunday 15th April 2012, 2pm”

  1. HADA-Japanese MLB Fan Says:

    The Baseball.

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