Are you itching for some more baseball? Well, the Korea Baseball Organization is set to get their regular season started on Tuesday. When the first pitch is thrown on Tuesday it will mark the start of the second high-level professional league in the world, joining the CPBL in Taiwan that has their regular season underway.
There’s a lot of international media that’s going to be covering opening day in South Korea. According to Jeeho Yoo, who covers the league for Yonhap News, 17 outlets applied for credentials for Tuesday.
Foreign media covering #KBO Opening Day games Tuesday. AP, AFP, Reuters, Al Jazeera, Getty Images, Channel News Asia, LA Times, NHK, South China Morning Post, Fuji TV, etc, etc. In all, 17 outlets have applied for credentials.
— Jeeho Yoo (@Jeeho_1) May 4, 2020
He noted in a follow up tweet that some of those outlets are only sending photographers, not reporters – but still, that’s a lot of attention. Given what’s happening here in the United States and the desire to see sports taking place, though, it’s not unexpected either.
There are 10 teams in the KBO. Unlike teams in most places, they are not named for the cities in which they play, but for the team ownership group. Let’s take a look at the 10 teams:
- Doosan Bears
- Hanwha Eagles
- Kia Tigers
- Kiwoom Heroes
- KT Wiz
- LG Twins
- Lotte Giants
- NC Dinos
- Samsung Lions
- SK Wyverns
The plan is to play a full 144-game season this year. While there is a later than usual start, it’s helped out by the fact that a scheduled break for the Olympics no longer is needed since the Olympics were pushed back a year and now there is time to fill up a schedule.
There are some former Cincinnati Reds in the league. The best known player among the four former players that have been in the organization is Dan Straily, who pitches for the Lotte Giants.
Preston Tucker played in a handful of games for the Reds in 2018 and the outfielder is now playing for the Kia Tigers. Former big leaguers, but only minor leaguers for Cincinnati Ben Lively and Odrisamer Despaigne are also in the league. Lively is pitching with the Samsung Lions and Despaigne with the KT Wiz.
So, can you watch the games in the United States? Well, it’s complicated. It was just announced by Jeeho Yoo at 10:30am on Monday that ESPN will televise one game per day of the league, starting Tuesday with the Samsung Lions taking on the NC Dinos.
There are streaming options available. But the rumors have been that if ESPN obtained the rights to broadcast games, the streaming options would be blacked out stateside. That has not been confirmed at this point, though. For now, it you’d like to give the whole streaming option a try, though, MyKBO.net has a walk-through for you to watch for free. It’s quite helpful if you don’t know how to read Korean.
If you are planning to watch the game on Tuesday, live – it’s going to be on at 1am Tuesday morning. Maybe you could set your DVR and get some sleep instead, unless you happen to be a night owl, or on the west coast where it’s just a late start.