|NC Dinos Stadium in Masan.|
1. The nine major league baseball teams in Korea are all owned and sponsored by big companies like Lotte, LG, Samsung, and Hanhwa. The Dinos are sponsored by NC, a video game company. So, my city's team is not the Changwon Dinos, but the NC Dinos. I find that odd but not surprising.
|Everyone who sat in the section directly behind these girls (and the dino mascots!)... probably didn't see much of the game.|
|All of the songs and cheers for the NC Dinos batters. The song for #09 김종호 was set to The Pussycat Dolls' "Don't Cha".|
|Two of my fellow teachers with chicken and beer. No popcorn, cotton candy, garlic fries, or cracker jack here.|
|#39, Charlie Shirek. I did a double-take when I first saw him, before I knew that Korean baseball teams could have foreigners.|
|안타! 안타! 안타!|
야구 (yagu): baseball. 야 actually means "field", not base.
쌔리다 (ssaelida): to hit (a ball). This is Gyeongsang dialect; in standard Korean it is 때리다.
외야, 내야 (weiya, naeya): outfield, infield.
안타치다 (antachida): to make a base hit. Fans chant "안타! 안타! 안타!" when they're at bat.
삼진 (samjin): strikeout. Also chanted over and over again, at a team's pitcher.
죽인다 (jukinda): Awesome! Literally, this means something along the lines of "It killed me!", but in slang, it has a positive connotation. I think this was part of a celebratory cheer for a run scored.
Lastly, this article from Changwonderful does a great job selling the NC Dinos and explaining the ins and outs of Korean baseball.
You know, I got more into the game than I expected to. The ninth inning was especially intense: 2-2, bottom of the inning and the Dinos are at bat with one out and a runner on third. The batter hits a pop fly into left field, it gets caught, no big deal if the runner on third makes it home... and he does! And the crowd goes nuts! And then... and then the umpire calls it out! What the heck? I didn't even see the ball get thrown back to home plate, but the call is clear. And wow... crushing disappointment. I felt it right alongside everyone else in the stadium. I left the game shortly thereafter, but I heard on the radio and from my fellow teachers later that the Dinos went on to lose their momentum and were defeated 3-2 in the tenth inning.
Haha, so I really enjoyed the game, even though I thought I was going more out of curiosity and a sense of duty and 정-building with my school. I've been to just a handful of baseball games in the US, and I don't think that Korean games are really much different! They might even be more fun, what with the crazy cheers and all. I just might go to another game this season and support my new team... NC Dinos!
P.S. I'll be out of town this weekend. Fulbright has a weekend conference on the Korean island of Jeju (제주도)! It's been favorably compared to Hawaii. Although the forecast calls for rain on Saturday, I'm going to make the most of it and am looking forward to a great time. Cheers!