2014 Golden Glove Awards

On November 8, I had the opportunity to attend a Korea Series baseball game with Robyn.  While there I had an enjoyable time speaking with representatives (and fans!) of the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO).  The people I met at KBO now know that I am a baseball fan, and I was fortunate to receive an invitation to the 2014 Golden Glove Awards celebration on December 9.  Ten Golden Gloves are awarded annually, one each to the best player for each position.  It was an impressive and fun event.  The dinner afterwards was also exciting and upbeat. 

Congratulations to the winners of the 2014 Golden Glove Awards
(Photo courtesy of KBO)

I was lucky to take a photo with 38-year-old Lee Seung-yeop who set a new KBO record, winning his 9th Golden Glove Award.  I also met Kang Jung-ho, who we may see move to Major League Baseball.  I wish them both good luck.

A photo with Lee Seung-yeop

Mr. Eu Woo-hong, one of the key baseball players from the 1950s and a coach afterwards came over and thanked the United States for bringing baseball to Korea.  He is now in his 80s and said that many professional baseball players in the U.S. interrupted their careers and came to Korea to fight in the Korean War.  In this way, these American players brought baseball from the U.S. to Korea.

In turn, I thanked him for the way Korea has made baseball its own and developed it into a fun, highly skilled, exciting game here.  The same MLB rules apply but the entertainment value, the enthusiasm of the fan base, and the general experience watching these high level players here is very Korean.  America may have planted the seed of the game in Korea, but Koreans have grown the crop and reshaped the game their own special and unique way. 

A photo with Mr. Eu Woo-hong

KBO Chairman Mr. Koo Bon-Neung asked me to cut the cake with the Commissioner and make an impromptu toast.  I started in Korean but continued in English saying, “On behalf of the United States of America and the President, I thank you for playing such a popular American game here with such skill, style and grace.  I propose a toast to congratulate tonight’s winners and for the continued success of KBO.  같이 갑시다 (Kachi kapshida)!”

Giving a toast at the 2014 Golden Glove Awards (Photo courtesy of KBO)

Thanks again to the KBO for their hospitality and for all you do to make baseball great in Korea.  I look forward to enjoying many more baseball games during my time here in Korea.

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