the World Baseball Classic (WBC), which celebrates its 5th this year, is led by the US Major League Secretariat Even though it was created, it almost failed at the box office due to successive refusal of star-level major leaguers in the early days. Nonetheless, Korea and Japan are credited with creating a great match every time they meet in the first and second tournaments to have the current status. As the historical relationship between Korea and Japan intertwined, Ichiro Suzuki (retired), who was Japan’s leading hitter before the tournament, made the so-called ’30-year absurd remark’, saying, “I will make the opponent feel that he cannot beat Japan for 30 years.” Not only the players, but the entire people of both countries became immersed in baseball.
The match between Korea and Japan will be held at the WBC for the first time in 14 years since the finals of the 2nd tournament in 2009, but the atmosphere of baseball fans who treat the two national teams is quite different.
It is called ‘Samurai Japan’ and the only baseball team in the world that successfully branded the Japanese training ground is attracting ‘cloud spectators’ every day to see the superstars. The fact that the Japanese national team’s training ground is set up in their home country (Miyazaki Prefecture) is great, but the media and public’s gaze on them is also different from that of Korea.
The Japanese national team will play practice games against Softbank on the 25th and 26th and Chunichi on the 3rd and 4th of next month, which the Japanese media describe as a ‘go-to match’. “Janghaeng” is an expression often used in Japan, which means going on a long journey with great ambition. Of course, it is operated as a paid game.
On the other hand, the baseball team, which is difficult to train in Korea due to the cold weather, gathered in Tucson, Arizona, USA on the 15th and is sweating, but the atmosphere is quiet. In the two practice games played against NC and KIA, there were only MLB scouts and Korean reporters covering the national team, but not many Koreans or local baseball fans wanted to watch the game. 스포츠토토
In addition, the Korean national team, which returns to Korea on the 1st of next month, will play the final evaluation match before the WBC against SSG on the 3rd, which will be held without spectators. For the baseball team, which is struggling to recover from the 3rd and 4th WBC sluggishness and no medal in the Tokyo Olympics, and once again to revive Korean baseball, I hope that the SSG match will be a farewell party where fans send their treasured entries in front of fans and cheer them on. The regret of how it was is coming out here and there.
To make matters worse, it is expected that no Korean cheering squad will be seen at the WBC Korea-Japan match. In the 1st and 2nd tournaments, KBO used its own budget to purchase cheerleading tickets in advance to invite fans, but this time it was canceled due to lack of budget. It is said that it will be late to secure tickets, but it is known that it is not easy because it is already sold out.