Well, for those of us who miss Opening Day, who miss this year when the Nationals should be basking in World Series glory, who miss the 7th inning stretch, the wave, popcorn, peanuts and Cracker Jack, South Korean baseball is here!Granted this season will be unusual. The coronavirus has seen to that. But South Korea feels confident enough that the season has begun – within coronavirus restrictions, of course. Games will be played in an empty stadium. Umpires wear masks, as do the cheerleaders, and most of the players.
Playing to empty stadiums must be difficult. Players thrive on the energy of the crowds, the excitement that seems to vibrate through the stadium. So, Korea has gone to great lengths to simulate the thrill of the game. Stadiums are filled with placards of fans, there is an announcer is doing his utmost to inject animation into his narration, and cheer leaders are gamely rooting on the home team.
I think they can do more. With a little ingenuity I’ll bet they could make everyone believe they are really at the ballpark. First, the crowd noises. You need the roar of the crowd when someone hits a dinger over the right field fence. And the roar – then moan when a ball looks like a homer, but is actually in foul territory.
Then, of course, an entire litany of catcalls, boos, hisses is a must. They could add the rude, raucous taunts one might hear today, but I think they should keep it family friendly and channel that classic William Bendix movie Kill the Umpire. A few ‘are you blind’s, ‘he was safe’, and ‘throw the bum out’ would add color. Also, a few of the placards leaning over the low fence and interfering with the play would be good.
Speaking of the placard fans, I think they should figure out a way they could do the wave with the appropriate whoosh sound we all love to make. It would be a sight to see because they would all actually take part and it wouldn’t just die a somewhat anemic death like it, sadly, often does.
The 7th inning stretch would be great. All the placards could pop out of their seats and sing along to Take Me Out to the Ballgame or Country Roads. I’ll bet they could figure out a way for vendors to toss hot dogs and peanuts to the ‘fans’. A tee-shirt toss would be a wonderful sight, but they’d have to be careful about the velocity. Knocking off a placard’s head with a tee-shirt would be a downer for sure.
Think of it, relaxing in those pajamas which you haven’t gotten out of for three weeks, sipping a Baseball Pleasure at four in the morning because ‘what else do you have to do?’, and flipping channels until you find Korean baseball. It’s a gift. Let’s root for the home team!
(a Daisy and Rose special)
In a highball glass with ice mix:
2 oz. Vodka
4 oz. orange juice
1 jigger Amaretto
1 jigger Whiskey
Mix well and garnish with a little pennant supporting your favorite team. Go Nats!