I ended up at my first baseball game much sooner than expected. I was invited to attend a Boosan Bears' game last Wednesday by a girl who I actually know from church in Libertyville and she lives not too far from me here in Seoul (I know small world). Anyways, I was really excited to go to a game since I knew baseball games in Asia are much different than a game in the states. In the states I think baseball is more of a hangout game. The games are so long you really can't be yelling and cheering the whole time, like at a college basketball game. Also, lets be honest, most people go to a game to get drunk, talk to friends and enjoy the summer weather. If you are lucky, you might get up and cheer if there is an extraordinary play. But if they are losing, forget it, you are not getting out of your seats at all.
Now think of everything I have said and then turn it 180, that is a game in Korea. People are cheering the entire time. Each player has his own chant that fans chant when the batter gets up. There are also cheerleaders and then a man who is the lead cheerer. There is also these huge drums that two people beat. If it is a full count, only reasons to get louder, even if you are pitching. Team is down by two? Not time to get sad but instead just increase your cheering! Besides the atmosphere was completely different, it was also funny to see who was there. It was mostly older men, who were really into the cheers. In front of my was about a group of 30 men who were all still in their business suits. All you could see were these black suits pounding away on their thunder sticks. It was a sight to be seen.
We also got to witness something else very cool. Between all the innings there were doing "challenge 2009" on
the jumbo tron. The first one was write your name with your butt in the air, there was also kiss the person next to you... typical things you see at any professional sporting event. Well between the top and bottom of the 6th a guy was picked for the challenge. He got up on the stage with his girlfriend (you could tell they were dating because they were wearing matching clothes). Jokingly Michele and I were making up dialogue for what was going on because that is what you do when you have no idea what anyone is saying. So we start talking about how their challenge is to get married.... and what do you know... about 2 minutes later he is on one knee!! He purposed. In the US the girl probably would have been falling over herself, but this is Korea. The girl was having NONE of it. If she could of she would have jumped off the platform! When she said yes, which I am assuming she said yes since she took the ring but there was not much more emotions than mortification, she would not kiss the guy. He gave her a kiss on the forehead because when he went to kiss him on the lips she put her hand over her mouth!! And this is all going down on the main screen, it was fairly hysterical. After their challenge was done, they got some envelope, I decided it was a certificate for them to get married....at the field.... on the pitching mound.... and a years worth of throwing out the first pitch.
Overall, loved the baseball game and can't wait to spend the summer hanging out at the stadium for lazy sundays! oh yea the stadium is 4 subway stops away! PERFECT!