Give the KBO a chance

Sam Fowler



If you’re like me, you’re a night owl.

If you’re like me, you’ve been fiending for any kind of live sports during the COVID-19 pandemic. Friday and Saturday would’ve been the state track meet and I would’ve gorged myself on sports that weekend.

On Monday night — actually, early Tuesday morning — live sports returned, only half a world away and I found my fix.

The Korean Baseball Organization in South Korea held their opening day on Tuesday, May 5, at 1:30 a.m. our time. It wasn’t just an obscure feed hosted on some shady website either. The opening day matchup between the NC Dinos and Samsung Lions was featured on ESPN.

ESPN! The same channel that has been airing reruns of historic games, e-sports and the incredible documentary on Michael Jordan’s last season as a Chicago Bull titled The Last Dance.

Albeit unconventional with commentators Karl Ravech and Eduardo Perez calling the game from their respective homes with a live feed pumped into their computers, it was real.

Real, live baseball on my TV!

And it’s not a crummy, low-level style of baseball either. Watching the Dinos 4-0 win over the Lions, I was thoroughly impressed with the attention to detail that was paid to the Korean style of baseball.

It’s old school fundamental baseball that would make our Columnist Maggie Rodriguez proud.

Want me to give you the good news? ESPN picked up the rights to broadcast full games and highlights of the KBO for the length of their 144-game season.

Games can end in a tie after 12 innings. The fans are rambunctious, though they are not allowed to attend games for the time being. The teams also have cheerleaders.

Here are the 10 teams that make up the league: Hanwha Eagles, Kia Tigers, Kiwoom Heroes, KT Wiz, LG Twins, Lotte Giants, NC Dinos, Samsung Lions and SK Wyverns.

The top five teams qualify for the postseason with the no. 1 seed automatically qualifying for the Korea Series, the KBO’s equivalent to the MLB’s World Series.

So, pick your team and best of luck to you. Go Lions!

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