31 May

We’ve decided to support the Samsung Lions baseball team. For three reasons:

1. They are the defending Champions this year.

2. They are the most popular team in our area.

3. It reminds us of our beloved Joburg rugby team.

You can imagine, our disappointment then, when we arrived at Daegu stadium, a 3 hour journey from Yeongju (bus, taxi and subway collectively) and the tickets were all sold out. Especially since we arrived there at 3pm to buy 5pm tickets. That’s how popular this team is.

The people we had planned to meet up with, decided it wasn’t worth sticking around for but Baden and I persisted. We’d seen a few toothless, tanned, greying Korean men stealthily selling tickets outside the ticket offices but were horrified that one ticket was going for 20 or 30 000won (in house price was 7000). Despite Baden’s seasoned experience with buying tickets from locals outside Ellis Park, for some reason this seemed particularly bad. Perhaps, it’s because it’s first illegal thing we’ve seen in Korea. The Koreans are such law abiding citizens that they don’t even cross the street unless there’s a green walking man giving them permission.

Baden often reminds me of my grandfather Derek – he is able to make conversation with anyone, anywhere. And soon he was discussing ticket sales with a young Korean called Ryan. Ryan was at school in the States – easily recognised by his posh American accent. Ryan disappeared into the crowds to find a shady Korean to sell us tickets but came back empty handed. It turned out that even the shades were now sold out.

The only hope we had left was a well-dressed man sitting outside the ticket office handing out tickets to employees of his company – and he had thousands left and the game was soon to start! To our bewilderment, moments before the game was about to start, two middle aged Korean men came up to us and said, “Only 2? We have 2 tickets”. And they were diamond seats. 3rd base. Cheerleaders. Dancing Lions, free balloons and audience camera (sadly, we didn’t get onto the kiss screen) but we ended up with the best seats with best atmosphere!

Sadly, the team we were supporting didn’t do very well (at which point we reflect that they really are like the Joburg Lions!) and there were only 8 home runs during the entire game (from both sides) but the nice thing about baseball is that it’s fast and interesting! And it’s Korean. And we’ve done it.



One Response to “Baseball”

  1. Ann Dowie June 1, 2012 at 7:50 pm #

    Loved this story Cath. Sure you must have felst close to home with the Lions association

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The Dowies in Asia

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