Korean Baseball 101: Way Beyond the Bat Flips


(upbeat electronic music) – [Announcer] Baseball
in Korea, is like nothing you’ve ever seen. And its fans, they’re in
a league of their own. – [Announcer] The atmosphere
at a game, it’s cathartic, it’s cleansing. No one cares what you look
like or how badly you sing or dance, as long as you’re
cheering for Lotte Giants, everyone’s happy together. (crowd chanting in foreign language) – [Announcer] Baseball was
first brought to Korea in 1905 by American missionaries,
and the people of South Korea loved it; it became one of the country’s most popular sports, and in 1982, Korea made its love of the game official and formed the Korean
Baseball Organization, or KBO for short. The league started with six teams. Today, there are 10, and the Lotte Giants from the city of Busan are one of two inaugural franchises left. Their fans are legendary. (crowd cheering) Their cheermaster is a celebrity. (yelling in foreign language)
(crowd cheering) What’s a cheermaster? Don’t worry, we’ll get to that. First, meet Lotte’s
most unlikely superfan. – I came to Korea in 2008, and I teach at a small university. I was living in Ulsan,
and we took a field trip to Sajik Stadium, and, uh, it was just amazing. Gradually, I’ve become a Lotte
Giant’s superfan, I guess. (upbeat music) – [Announcer] And, in the nine years he’s been going to games,
he’s become so well known in the stands that people regularly stop and ask to take photos with him. – [Kerry] I really don’t
know why I became so famous other than it’s perhaps because I’m big and I look like Santa Claus, and in a crowd of 20,000 Koreans, there are not many guys that look like me. (speaking in foreign language) – [Announcer] Choi Joon
Suk is a mountain of a man. He’s a first baseman,
your prototypical masher in the middle of the batting order. He’s known for crushing baseballs and his epic bat flips. Because in the KBO, bat
flips are quite common, and no big deal, whereas
in the major leagues in the States, it’s seen
as a sign of disrespect. We’ll just let the slugger explain this. (speaking in foreign language) – [Announcer] OK, fine, not much to say. What about you, foreign Major-Leaguer and Lotte Giants team captain, Lee Dae Ho? (speaking in foreign language) – [Announcer] Some say it’s nationalistic. Some say it’s entertaining. And some say very little at all. (upbeat music) Regardless of theory,
one thing is certain. Bat flips are absolutely mesmerizing, and in the KBO, you
get your money’s worth. (classical music) (announcers speaking in foreign language) (upbeat music) – I tell everyone that, to me, the MLB is like an opera, and the Lotte Giants at
Sajik is like rock and roll. (upbeat music) The atmosphere, the energy. And I only planned to go to a few games, and for the last three years,
I’ve had season tickets at Sajik, so I’d probably
been to about 120 games every year for the last three years. (chanting in foreign language) I get asked a lot: Why
do I go to so many games? And, in one word, it’s fun. I’m, 63 years old, and I don’t
think I should apologize for wanting to have fun. – [Announcer] Rambunctious
crowds, electric atmosphere, and bat flips are all part
of the KBO experience. But what really sets the KBO
apart is the cheermaster. And, Lotte’s is top dog. So, what does a cheermaster do? (screaming in foreign language) (loud, thumping music) (speaking in foreign language) (chanting) – Cho Ji-Hoon is so famous
because of his skill, because of his passion. He is working almost 100% of the game. He’s talking, he’s singing, he’s dancing. He is the heart of the Lotte Giants. (upbeat electronic music) (speaking in foreign language) (chanting in foreign language) (speaking in foreign language) (singing in foreign language) (speaking in foreign language) – [Announcer] The Lotte Giants are Busan’s only professional sport’s team. The entire city rallies behind them. They are a raucous and
rambunctious fan base, they make sure you feel, or
rather, hear their presence. (cheering) (speaking in foreign language) – I’m probably the luckiest man in Korea, because I’ve made so many friends, and had so many unique
and special experiences all because of baseball. Many of my Korean friends
speak very little English, I speak very little Korean, But, we have a common language. And that language is the Lotte Giants. (upbeat music)

100 thoughts on “Korean Baseball 101: Way Beyond the Bat Flips

  1. MLB has too many thin skinned prima-donnas which has made most players walking on eggshells, guess baseball reflects society in America..

  2. “Some say it’s nationalistic”

    There’s nothing wrong with nationalism. The sovereign nation state remains the true path to prosperity and dignity. Do your thing, SouthKorea.
    The notion that nationalism is bad is a jewish lie.

  3. Asians r the aliens of the human race listen 2 the language n how they write it fuckn aliens

  4. This is very interesting take on being a baseball fan. The fan experience is definitely fun and exciting. It would never work in the MLB bc the fans are older (45+) and are stuck on 'tradition'. It would be fun if they added this type of atmosphere during the game because it would draw younger crowds and add to the overall fan experience.

  5. "I don't think we can find more enthusiastic fandom anywhere in the world.
    I know that he probably means "baseball team fandom", but if he isn't…
    laughs in european football fans language

  6. Imagine moving to korea in 2008 and in 2017 speaking "very little korean", like, how do you even pull that off?

  7. Imagine the Philly Phanatic going ham like the cheermaster. Would create enough electricity to power the east coast tbh.

  8. It's only sad that Lotte Giants are a bad baseball team with a decent batting order, a non-existent SP rotation, a bullpen that explodes every time, and a defense that doesn't make many errors because they don't go for hard defensive plays in the first place

  9. Been living and working in a foreign country for years and can't speak the language very well. If you live and work somewhere you should have a basic grasp of the language.

  10. I don't think we can find a more enthusiastic fandom anywhere into the world
    Fortnite: Am I a joke to you?

  11. I once went to a baseball game and it was booooooring… and I've never been back. I now have a South Korean friend; she's now back in SK and whenever I get a chance to visit her she better take me out to the ball game.

  12. They're not going to mention the lemon head girl that shows up in this video? She doesn't seem to be a mascot for the Lotte Giants or the Doosan Bears… were they just filming on a day when one of Lemongrab's relatives showed up at the game?

  13. 왜 롯데가 한국야구를 대표하냐? 꼴데 차라리 기아를 쓰지. 참고로 기아팬 아님

  14. Asians still dye (or use sun-in or peroxide) their hair red/orange? I thought that died out in the ‘80s when we did it.

  15. Boooo Busan! Hanwa Eagles are the best. As an Esl teacher it was great because baseball was a great way to connect with Korea. It was the only thing my fellow Korean teachers and I could talk about, "Did you see the game". Even went to a couple games with Koreans. Man I miss those days.

  16. Dont stay in Korea, but a big overseas kbo fan here. Loved LG twins and will try to watch their game at jamsil whenever i visit korea

  17. Yeah, sounds like a soccer game, and I love it with all the chants. If you don’t chant at a game, I won’t go. That’s why I refuse to go to baseball, football, hockey and basketball games here in the US. It’s bland and manufactured.

  18. CORRECTION: (South Korea*
    ( you can't just title it as Korea. In North Korea the fucking cockroaches play baseball more than humans)

  19. Korean baseball games are the best! They might not play as well as MLB players, but they are far more entertaining. I used to go to about 5-10 games a season. Not only is the atmosphere electric, but most stadiums also allow you to bring in whatever food and drinks you want, and the vendors don't price gouge you.

  20. Went to an Incheon Wyverns game against the Lotte Giants in Incheon and it was one if the most fun sporting events I've ever been to. The beer was super cheap, about $2 for basically a 22 ounce so we drank beer and pretended to know Korean so we could sing along to the songs. It was so much damn fun. I hope to go back one day.

  21. In the MINORS back in early 2000s we USA VS KOREA exhibition….THEY STOOD NO CHANCE……YEAH RIGHT!!!….THEY KICKED OUR ASS…..

  22. Korea vs Japan when or do we still hate each other? And maybe America can have an actual world series. One can dream. If im ever influential Ill push for this.

  23. Has anyone noticed the most famous super fans are generally not the same race as your average sport fan? He pointed it out himself but just saying.

  24. It's a Pro sport, not an amateur / kiddies league where people's feelings shouldn't be hurt, and your ego should be able to take a fucking celebration.
    There are lines obviously, but staring at a ball with a beautiful trajectory and casually throwing a bad instead of carefully placing it really is a line for 8 year olds.

  25. Here I am hoping to move to Korea in 1-2 years thinking I need to learn the language (I am still going to try) and this superfan has been living there for 11 years with very little knowledge of it. This looks very fun, definitely on my list of things to do when I visit early to mid next year if the season is on.

  26. 요즘 롯데는 ㄷㄷ
    이거보고 롯데경기 와서 실망하는 외쿡인들 더러 있겠네 ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ

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