MLB Opening Day in Seoul, South Korea: why, what, and how to watch? [Sports Telling].

Emerging rivals in Major League Baseball’s West, two teams busy snarling at each other whenever they meet.

24 National League championships, seven World Series titles. The Los Angeles Dodgers, the ‘powerhouse of tradition’, and the San Diego Padres, the Dodgers’ newest rivals with a surge in power in the 2020s.

But these two teams are set to open the next season with a highly anticipated game in Seoul, South Korea.

Here’s why and what it means to start a new season of Major League Baseball in South Korea!

Los Angeles and San Diego are two cities in Southern California.

They’re about two hours apart, so they’ve met a lot since they’re in the same district.

The teams have played 931 career games, with the Dodgers winning 514, and the Padres losing about 100 more.

메이저놀이터The head-to-head record seems to show dominance and inferiority, but when it comes down to it, these two teams have no problem “snarling” at each other. They’ve even had their fair share of brawls, including one in 2013 where they hit each other and fought back and forth.

The first series between the two teams in 2024 will take place in South Korea, in Seoul.

On the 13th of this month, Major League Baseball officially announced that the opening series of the 2024 season will be played in Seoul on the 20th and 21st of March next year.

“Major League Baseball will play its opening series in South Korea,” you might say. While this is a first in the history of American professional baseball, Major League Baseball has actually played its opening games in other countries quite a few times.

While this is the first time it’s happened in Korea, there have been five major league openers in Tokyo, Japan, and one each in Monterrey, Mexico, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Sydney, Australia.

Basically, Major League Baseball has been travelling to various countries with professional baseball leagues to hold opening games in order to ‘globalise baseball’.

In fact, last year’s MLB World Tour Korea Series was planned for a similar purpose, but it was unfortunately cancelled due to a contract default.

It took about two years for the KBO, which worked tirelessly to make amends, and the Major League Baseball office, which was interested in Korea’s “baseball pool,” to come together.

As a result, the Dodgers will play their opening series across the border for the first time in 10 years since 2014, and San Diego for the first time in 25 years since 1999.

Owners and star players from both teams expressed their excitement in an official video, saying they were “thrilled to play in a country with passionate fans and a rich baseball tradition.”

The Padres’ Ha-Sung Kim, who will be making his major league debut, was especially excited, saying, “I can’t tell you how happy and excited I am to wear the San Diego uniform and play for my country.”

Korean baseball fans will be thrilled to see their favourite MLB players in person, but it’s not just about seeing the superstars in person.

There are plenty of other things to keep baseball fans interested, including the Dodgers, the ‘national MLB team’ that Park Chan-ho, Choi Hee-seop, Seo Jae-eung, and Ryu Hyun-jin played for, and Kim Ha-seong’s Padres, the next generation of Korean major leaguers. The match-up between the two will be the most interesting to watch.

The opening two games in Tokyo in 2004 saw Hideki Matsui hit three hits, including a home run; in 2008, Daisuke Matsuzaka struck out six in five innings and allowed two runs; and in 2012, Ichiro Suzuki’s “four hits in one game” protest and Yusei Kikuchi’s major league debut were spectacular. It will be interesting to see if the ‘feel-good jinx’ of a foreign athlete performing under the flag of their country can continue in Korea.

It will also be interesting to see what kind of fan service the Dodgers’ Mookie Betts, who showed interest in Korean baseball during the pandemic by personally introducing the KBO league to the U.S., will provide to Korean baseball fans.

With star players potentially heading to the major leagues, it’s also interesting to see two teams with large domestic fan bases come to Seoul: Kiwoom Heroes’ Lee Jung-hoo, who will be knocking on the major league door at the end of the season, and LA Dodgers’ Shohei Ohtani, who has a large following in Korea, and it’s fun to imagine a Seoul series with these players in major league uniforms.

It was an eventful first half of the KBO this season, but the fans’ love for baseball remained constant.

Maybe next year, their love of baseball will start a little earlier than April, when the series kicks off each year.

The specific venue hasn’t been revealed, but given Korea’s “cold spring,” the Gocheok SkyDome is a strong contender.

Now you can join the star-studded feast in Gocheok by booking your tickets in Korea and beyond.

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