The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

South Korea Game Sets MLB Season in Motion


For the first time in its history, Major League Baseball started off its season in South Korea.

The first MLB game of the regular season this year was a game between National League rivals the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres, who met on March 20 and March 21 at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul. The Dodgers won 5-2 in the first game. In game two, the Padres won 15-11 after a slugfest battle between the two teams.

Major League Baseball was formed in 1876 and has held the World Tour game every year since 1999. This year it was decided to hold it in South Korea. The Seoul Series attracted the attention of many South Korean fans eager to see the superstars from each team in person, including Shohei Ohtani and Mookie Betts from the LA Dodgers, and Fernando Tatis Jr and Ha-Seong Kim from the Padres, showcase their skills.

In particular, the Seoul Series attracted more attention from fans because it was Shohei Ohtani’s official debut game as a Dodger after moving from The Los Angeles Angels. After his contract with the Angels ended in 2023, Ohtani transferred to the Dodgers with a 10-year contract worth $700 million, the largest signing fee in the history of any professional sport. Ohtani is a pitcher and designated hitter known as the first MLB player ever with 40 homers and 10 wins in a single season.

According to ESPN, the average audience of the Seoul Series was 551,000 viewers.

Andrew Shelffo, a JV Baseball coach at Williston, feels MLB should continue this tradition every year.

“I think it’s a great thing for MLB to have a world tour game every year,” Shelffo said. “Baseball is truly an international game, and these games in particular allow new fans in new places to see the world’s best players up close.”

Matthew Sawyer, Varsity Baseball head coach at Williston, feels the World Tour game lets people around the world see great players—as well as great teams.

“I am sure MLB likes the idea of not only getting more recognition for players around the world (and more people interested in their product), but for teams as well,” he said. “So, those in other countries might start rooting for a team like the Padres instead of just for a player like Manny Machado.”
Sawyer also feels that World Tour games in South Korea will have an impact on the development and popularity of baseball in South Korea.

“I know that baseball is popular in Korea in general, but this series will likely turbo-charge the interest, especially since the Dodgers and Padres have so many excellent players,” Sawyer said.
Jumpei Ro, a fan of the Japanese Baseball League (NPB), feels the Seoul Series was proof that Major League Baseball is not only for Americans anymore.

“Dodgers and Padres have lots of Japanese and Korean players, and I think it’s fascinating that Asian players are now playing in MLB teams and also they play in an Asian country, which shows that MLB is now a multicultural thing,” Jumpei, a 10th grader from Tokyo said.

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