We were seeing the LG Twins (all teams are sponsored by major corporations) versus the Lotte Giants. Being from Los Angeles we could not root for the Giants so we instantly became Twin fans. We tried to teach the Koreans that we call them the Twinkies in America. Unfortunately, our seats were with the Giant fans, but no worry -- we were in Korea and we spoke Baseball.
We had an inkling of what we were in for because we had attended a baseball game in Tokyo. Let me say these people are nuts – in a good way. It is not like any baseball game you will ever attend in America and I can speak with authority having attended games in 49 parks where MLB has been played.
There are platforms on each side of the field where each team has a whistle-blowing head cheerleader (male) constantly in action, a couple bass drummers and four scantily-clad females leading the cheers. From the first inning on when the team is at bat they are doing a series of cheers that everyone knows and participates in. The cheering goes back and forth between sides. It is impossible not to have a blast. The fans are having so much fun that you would have to be dead not to be caught up in their joy. No pretention here. People come from work in suits and change into their team’s gear and chant like maniacs. At one point in the Giants section they passed out plastic bags. We thought the bags were for trash. We soon found out that what they did was blow up the bags and put them on their heads with the handles wrapped around their ears. The sight of thousands of Giant fans with these bags on their heads brought us to tears with laughter. But they were having a gay old time.
As Americans we could just sit there watching them eating pizza and KFC and Korean delights, smiling, laughing and having the most joyous time. What we thought was that we gave this to them. They are having this much fun because of Americans. And what have we asked from them in return? Nothing. Just be our friends and live in peace.
We visited the DMZ. We saw the other side where the current North Korean nut case was starving and depriving his people. We saw some of our Boys stationed in Korea and thanked them and hugged them. One was a Filipino-born American who became a lifer in the Air Force. He had served in Iraq and Afghanistan. We gave him extra love.
As much as we enjoyed that, the wonderful Korean people, their great Capital and every other aspect of Korea, we will always treasure the night we went to a Korean baseball game. It was a spiritual experience.