The KBO League, previously known as the Korean Baseball League, is currently the highest professional level league of international baseball in South Korea. The KBO has been founded with ten franchises in 1982 and since then has rapidly expanded to over ten franchises today. To date, the KBO has enjoyed tremendous popularity in the country and has a fan base that is larger than many of the other professional baseball leagues in the world. Unfortunately, the recent economic crisis in South Korea has caused many franchise owners to either close their doors or sell the teams to other countries. This has left those fans who have always known or cared about their home team feeling frustrated and disappointed.
So what's the big deal? The KBO has long been considered the flagship of South Korean baseball, much more so than the Korean Baseball Association (KBA). This was primarily due to the fact that the KBA was not established until the late 80's and was created as an international league to rival the MLB. Since then the KBA has tried to emulate and attempt to upstage the MLB by signing star players from the MLB such as Alex Rodriguez and Curt Schlemmer, but these efforts have fallen flat with fans and failed to maintain the interest level that once had.
While the MLB can certainly do things better and is in fact working on improving its baseball operations there is still no substitute for a good Korean baseball club. There is something special about watching a top level Korean team play in its home country. In addition, the stadium environment adds a whole other dimension to the experience. Unlike many MLB ball clubs, which have incredibly small ball fields that are not well lit and often filled with fans and vendors selling trinkets and souvenirs, a good KBO team will play games at stadiums with real grass and properly maintained facilities.
The makeup of a Korean team also contributes to the incredible atmosphere. Unlike many MLB teams that have players hailing from different countries, some Korean teams will have several players with first or second or third language skills. This allows them to communicate with each other freely and plays a big factor in the kind of support they get from their fans. Many Americans and Canadians who travel to watch a game in Seoul feel that it is completely different and that their support for their team and players is genuine.
The history of the Korean Baseball team is quite impressive as well. They have only been around since the early 1990's but have quickly established themselves as one of the best teams in the world. In fact, in the last few years they have only missed the playoffs once, which is quite impressive in itself. Also, it seems as if they are always just a few steps away from greatness.
Most Americans and Europeans love watching a good game of baseball, and those who live in Korea love to watch the MLB as well. The KBO has also enjoyed incredible growth in recent years. Today it is the second most populous baseball league behind the MLB. One reason for this growth is because of the large number of teams in the league. Each team plays a dozen or so games every season, so there is always an opportunity for a large audience to tune into the game.
The KBO has enjoyed great growth, but there is one problem that they face and that is how to keep the momentum that they have. Unlike the MLB, which controls everything, the KBO is not as tightly regulated. Each team breeds its own superstar player that hits a home run every five games or so. This can work to their advantage, but it can also be very dangerous because a player can rack up a huge number of home runs and not have any trouble competing with the MLB caliber players. This makes the championship races all the more interesting to watch.
The KBO is a business, and they make money by selling tickets. But they need the fans to keep going back to watch, which is why they continue to do things like sell postcards of every game that is played. No matter where you live in the United States or Canada, you can go online and purchase a ticket to the next match that is played. There are even teams in the lower leagues that you can purchase a ticket for. There are a lot of unique experiences that can be had by watching this wonderful sport.
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