Baseball may be American’s national pastime, but its rank as baseball-lovingest nation is rivaled by Korea’s unchecked zeal. Yesterday we went to our first Korean baseball game at Sajik Stadium where the Lotte Giants (our home team) faced off against the LG Twins.
All we can say is WOW. Korean baseball games are awesome, not so much for the sport as for the sheer unbridled insanity from the fans. First of all there are thundersticks. Free ones. And everyone has them, so the noise is deafening. Fans stand up and cheer when runs are scored, when catches are made, when the other team strikes out. At one point there was cheering and chanting for a particularly hard fought walk. Any excuse to yell. Additionally there is also a wide repertoire of cheers and songs (many set to American songs–we heard “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”) that have been rewritten as Lotte chants, complete with accompanying thunderstick percussion.
And there are cheerleaders–Lotte girls who dance during breaks between innings and throughout the game.
And there is overeager trash talking, yelling, near-rabid consumption of beer and food (you can bring both into the stadium yourself–we carried in an entire pizza), karaoke competitions, and all manner of ridiculous games, competitions, and jumbo-tron sized fun.
However, the BEST part of the Lotte game had to be the seventh inning mass accessorizing. Near the end of the game, stadium workers pass out orange trash bags so that you can clean up behind yourself before leaving the stadium. And what do those enterprising Lotte fans do? They make hats!
To prove to you that this is not a ridiculous trick played on foreigners, here is a photo of the entire stadium all gussied up.
Some of the younger South Korean women, always paragons of style, fashioned Minnie Mouse-esque bows that they wore on the tops of their heads.
All in all folks, it was nearly more fun that we could stand for less that $7 American. Lotte played miserably and lost by five, but who cares? We had thundersticks and garbage bag hats.
Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: Busan, Korea