The regular season of the 2014 Korea Baseball Futures League began last week. It is a bit late, but below is the full schedule of the regular season.
As you may have assumed, the Futures League is Korean professional baseball’s farm system. This is where teams raise their young talents, and rehab injured players making recoveries. So, if you are a fan who has interest in the entire system of the team, the games are worth a look.
What’s great about the Futures League?
- For the purists. You can fully enjoy the surrounding nature and the sounds of the game. No electronic music and no organized cheering. And, no war cries you would normally hear at amateur (high school, college) games.
- Quality baseball. It may not be up to the level you would see overseas, but at least you will not see constant plays that lead to a bunch of unearned runs.
- Getting close to the players. Security at the venues are basically non-existent. Before or after a game the players are there for you to go and say “hello”. Since player transaction is very flexible (and mostly kept secret) in Korean baseball, you may even bump into well-known players.
- Free admission! What more to explain?
What are the difficulties?
- The accessibility. The venues are extremely difficult to reach unless you live in a neighborhood nearby (which you probably are not). If you have your own vehicle, a GPS navigation device is a must since many of them are located in the middle of nowhere.
- Not enough seats. Only a single team plays at a decent stadium with a capacity over 10,000. Plus, there are teams that play in simple baseball fields with no seats. You will either be sitting on grass or standing the whole time. See my previous post for information on capacity. Usually Opening Day is surprisingly full, so you will need to reach there early to earn a spot.
- No amenities. Whatever optimizes your fan experience (blankets, drinks, food, mats, uniforms, etc.), you will not find them there. Be sure to prepare them before you reach any venue. Do not expect cheergirls if you are a fan of that.
Oh, yes. And, one more thing. You cannot keep foul or home run balls. The Futures League receive very little funding, and the players need those balls for practice.
*One note: The first two games in the remaining three-game series at Pohang Baseball Stadium have been changed to 18:00 (17:00 on Saturdays, Korea Standard Time) starts.