With the declining level of play of college ballclubs and industrial league franchises in Japan, the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks organization were searching for methods to keep their third squad in shape. They sent a request to the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) to have their farm club play against the KBO’s Futures League ballclubs. This idea also stemmed from the fact that it can also cut costs in terms of logistics. The KBO answered, and the Hawks have been sending their third squad to South Korea since the 2012 season.
The Hawks begin their interleague exhibition games tomorrow (June 17) playing two-game series with every Korea Baseball Futures League ballclubs expect the Korean Police Baseball Team and Sangmu Phoenix (and Goyang Wonders, if you wish to count them as a Futures League ballclub):
- June 17-18: vs. Doosan Bears @ Bears Park
- June 19-20: vs. Hwaseong Heroes @ Hwaseong Heroes Baseball Park
- June 21-22: vs. Suwon KT Wiz @ SKKU Baseball Field
- June 24-25: vs. LG Twins @ LG Champions Park
- June 26-27: vs. SK Wyverns @ Songdo LNG Baseball Stadium
- June 28-29: vs. NC Dinos @ Pohang Baseball Stadium
- July 19-20: vs. Hanwha Eagles @ Seosan Baseball Training Center
- July 21-22: vs. KIA Tigers @ Hampyeong-KIA Challengers Field
- July 24-25: vs. NC Dinos @ Masan Baseball Stadium
- July 26-27: vs. Samsung Lions @ Samsung Ballpark
- July 29-30: vs. Lotte Giants @ Sangdong Baseball Field
I believe this is good news for die hard SoftBank Hawks fans living in South Korea as well as those who wish to get a glimpse of Japanese baseball in South Korea.
If you wish to know which ballclubs are participating in the Korea Baseball Futures League and where they play, check my previous post.
- 日소프트뱅크 3군, 국내 2군리그 참가… 왜?, The Korea Economic Daily, Feb. 6, 2012.
- 소프트뱅크 카마모토, ‘1회부터 3루탑니다’, MK, May 23, 2012.
- Futures League Schedule (Daily), Korea Baseball Organization/Sports2i.