From Korea to KC, This is Why we Love Baseball
In September of 2001, one nation was brought together after a terrorist attack devastated the United States and its’ citizens. Again, in April of 2013, disaster struck again. The one thing that brought people together, and started the healing process was baseball. Now, two nations are coming together and the thing in the middle of that is none other than baseball.
Sung Woo Lee is a citizen of Seoul, South Korea. Since the 1990s, Sung Woo has had a love for the Kansas City Royals. In fact, he is such a big Royals fan that he even put it on his bucket list to come to Kansas City, and watch a Royals game in person. On August 5th he will be arriving to Kansas City to fulfill the dream he’s had for over two decades.
The truly amazing thing about Sung Woo is not only that he has been a Royals fan since the 90s, which truly deprives him of watching a good team, but he wakes up and watches Royals games on MLB.TV despite the 14-hour time difference. Nobody, not even Sung Woo knows the reasoning behind the Kansas City fandom, not even the man himself. Of course, you won’t hear him complaining about his favorite team.
When asked who his favorite player is in an interview from 2012 interview by a site called ‘Rambling Morons’, he responded, “I love all Royals players, even mediocre farmhands. It’s a difficult question. I never actually watched Brett, Saberhagen, Splittorf, and many legendary players, so my favorites are Sweeney, Dye, Damon, Beltran, Randa, and Greinke. I love all of the men on the 40-man roster.” I had to edit a bit, as Sung Woo did not speak good English at the time.
Sung Woo is one of the most optimistic Royals fans, and I’ve even had the pleasure of conversing with him about the team via Twitter.
I tweeted out, “Kansas City is headed for last place, aren’t they?”
Sung Woo replied, “Maybe, but we’ll get a higher draft pick, and re-build our farm system.”
Sung Woo’s eternal optimism about his Boys in Blue is for good reason. After working long and hard, Sung Woo uses the team as a coping mechanism to unwind, and relax after a hard day’s work.
Not only has he caught the attention of the casual fans, Sung Woo has caught the attention of radio host, Danny Parkins, and Kansas City Royals lefty, Danny Duffy. Duffy said that if Sung Woo ever made his way to the states, he would pay for Royals tickets so that he could see his favorite team in person. Since then, Duffy has left twitter, but Parkins and Sung Woo have kept in touch. It was not until after he announced his travel plans that Parkins found out. Once he got word, Danny Parkins did the incredible deed of hooking up Sung Woo with Royals tickets. What’s remarkable is that the team themselves are letting him throw out the first pitch. Chris Kamler, and the rest of the ‘Rambling Morons’ have taken it upon themselves to give Sung Woo an official Kansas City welcoming.
From the depths of Korea to the heartland of the U.S, a lifelong baseball fan finally gets his dream to come true. This is why we love baseball. To learn more about Sung Woo Lee, and keep up with the hubbub, follow @Koreanfan_KC on twitter, #SungWooToKC. Keep up with his schedule here.