The Korea Herald


Dodgers' Opening Day starter hoping to see S. Korean style cheering in Los Angeles

By Yonhap

Published : March 19, 2024 - 09:59

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This photo shows fans attending an exhibition game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Kiwoom Heroes at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Sunday. (Yonhap) This photo shows fans attending an exhibition game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Kiwoom Heroes at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Sunday. (Yonhap)

While his Los Angeles Dodgers played their two exhibition games in Seoul to prepare for their regular season openers, starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow got a close look at what the South Korean style of cheering is all about.

And the American right-hander quickly became a fan of it.

In a typical Korea Baseball Organization game, there are cheering teams on either side of the diamond, with the home team usually taking the stage on the first base side and the road team setting up shot on the third base side. Cheermasters play walkup songs for every player through large speakers, and fans chant players' names and clap along. But they do so only when their team is batting.

When their team is playing defense, they sit down and let their opponents have their moment with their cheering. In key moments, though, those fans will chant their pitcher's name at two strikes, hoping to see a punchout at the plate.

In sum, this is a departure from how fans cheer at Major League Baseball games, which do not feature cheering squads or dueling chants from fans. It will take the piped-in sound of organs and clapping patterns to get MLB fans fired up sometimes.

Glasnow said he has found the Korean style cheering "very electric."

"In between innings, or while the inning is going on, the songs and the sounds and stuff ... it's really cool," Glasnow said Monday, two days before he was to make his Opening Day start against the San Diego Padres at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul. The game, part of a two-game Seoul Series, will be the very first MLB regular season game in Sohth Korea.

In fact, Glasnow was so hooked that he said, "I hope we can adopt that back home. It's great. It's been really cool."

Since the Dodgers' first exhibition game on Sunday, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has used the word "different" to describe the atmosphere at the stadium, seemingly amused with the way South Korean fans cheer.

"We're not used to having cheerleaders during games so that was exciting for everyone and it just seemed like everyone kept their energy up throughout the whole night," Roberts said after the Dodgers beat the Kiwoom Heroes of the KBO 14-3 on Sunday. "I don't think it was distracting. I think it's great. I couldn't follow all the cheers but it's different but that was a good thing."

Then following the Dodgers 5-2 win over the South Korean national team Monday, Roberts also noted his team played in "a different environment" than the one they're accustomed to back home.

"I don't think they knew in left field that the game had ended," Roberts deadpanned, referring to fans and cheerleaders on the third base side. "You know what, it's one of those things where we don't get a chance to experience other cultures of baseball. And so to have the cheerleaders out in left field and right field or down the lines is something different."

When informed of Glasnow's comments about adopting the Korean style of cheering in Los Angeles, Roberts smiled and said, "We'll see what we can do if we can make that happen." (Yonhap)