Major League Baseball Game …Korean style

Today we had our first weekday off, since I started in June. To celebrate, we organized and outing: me, a fellow teacher (Canadian) and several students met at the lobby of the school at 3:30 pm and headed to the subway for Sajik Stadium. (Maybe 30 minutes and $1 fare). The Lotte Giants (our team) was prepared to play the Kia Tigers. (Here baseball teams are corporately named/sponsored!)  (More photos.)

We bought our tickets in the general admission section for 7,000 won (about $6). Then, our group of six split up. Three headed over to HomePlus (supermarket) for food and three of us went to save seats. In about 45 minutes, the HomePlus group arrived with boxes of fried chicken, six-packs of beer, a case of water and grapes. We sat in the shade of a banner, but the temperature was around 85F as we waited for the game to start. Still, we were a pretty happy group …watching baseball beats being indoors at English class!

In addition to chicken, you can buy pizza, kebabs, and more traditional Korean cuisine like noodles. Another group of three met us there a bit later. They broke out the dried squid. You know, I have had squid many times, but chewing on dried squid legs, which hang out of your mouth, as you’re working your way through the thing …hmmm, not so much! But everyone is suprised that I don’t like it. But it’s delicious, they swear!

Singing! There are so many songs. Each player has his own song with words. This isn’t how I remember it when I watched the Rockies that someone plays the song. No, the fans just break out singing each player’s song as he comes up to bat. The one Mexican player (Garcia), gets a song that ends with the chorus of his name (Korean-style) Ga-Ra-Ci-Ya (and his name is spelled in Hangeul (korean letters)), this way!))

By far, the funniest tradition is the part where the staff passes out orange trash bags near the end of the game. Later, the fans clean up their area and put all trash in the bags, then bring the bags to one of many collection points on the way out of the stadium.

But first, the bags are inflated and twisted to be a big orange blob, then worn on your head. The bags are secured to your head, by looping the handles, one around each ear. Or, a style preferred by some men and women, is to make the bag into a big bow and wear that.

Our group included a group of very cool university students and others in their 20’s, who donned the bags and maybe still were cool??!!

Other than one inning where the Lotte Giants gave up 10 runs to the Kia Tigers, it would have been a close game. So, they lost but we cheered them on anyhow, and had a great experience.

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