Wednesday, December 7, 2022

MLB sending team of stars to South Korea for MLB World Tour: Korea Series exhibition games in November

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Major League Baseball will send a team of stars to South Korea to play a series of exhibition games in November, the Korea Baseball Organization announced Friday in Seoul, according to the Yonhap News Agency. KBO will host MLB players for four games in what is being called the “MLB World Tour: Korea Series” to celebrate KBO’s 40th anniversary.

The games will be played in mid November, after the World Series. Here are more details from Yonhap:

Sajik Stadium in the southeastern city of Busan, home of the KBO club Lotte Giants, will host one game each on Nov. 11 and 12. MLB stars will then travel up to Seoul for two more games, with one each on Nov. 14 and 15, at Gocheok Sky Dome, home of the Kiwoom Heroes in the KBO.

According to the KBO, this will be the first series of games by an MLB All-Star squad on South Korean soil since 1922.

MLB has sent a team of stars to Japan for what is called the MLB Japan All-Star Series every few years since 1986. The most recent edition took place in 2018, when the Japanese team won five of six games. The MLB World Tour: Korea Series will presumably replace the MLB Japan All-Star Series this year.

Three active major leaguers were born in Korea: Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Ji-Man Choi, San Diego Padres shortstop Ha-Seong Kim, and Boston Red Sox outfielder Rob Refsnyder. Refsnyder was born in Seoul and adopted by a California family as an infant. A fourth, Toronto Blue Jays lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu, is currently rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.

As part of the new collective bargaining agreement MLB and the MLBPA agreed to play more games (both exhibition and regular season) in other countries in an effort to grow the game. In addition to South Korea, games are tentatively scheduled to be played in the Dominican Republic, London, Mexico, Paris and Puerto Rico between now and 2026.

Rosters and the exact schedule for the Korea Series tour will be announced in September.

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