The Seoul Series

The Seoul Series

I got up early last week to watch the opening game of the 2024 Major League Baseball season, the Dodgers vs. the Padres in Seoul, South Korea. Kind of crazy, but I’m glad I did it. 

Watching the exotic location, the odd traditions, and the diverse faces, the overwhelming impression was not of strangeness but familiarity: baseball, and all it has meant in my life. 

My Uncle A.J. treating my brother Russ and me to see the Nashville Vols minor league team when we were little.

Going to see the brand-new Dodgers, just arrived from Brooklyn, in their temporary home, the Los Angeles Coliseum, where we sat so far away that we couldn’t read the players’ numbers, let alone their names. But that day we did see Stan Musial and the St. Louis Cardinals, plus the wonderful Dodgers of that era, including Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, and Pee Wee Reese. 

Snagging a ticket on a Chicago business trip to see the Cubs on opening day at Wrigley Field, a 13-inning marathon won by the Cubs where, by the end of the game, snowflakes were falling on the 27 remaining fans. 

On a college-visiting trip in New England with Maggie and her boyfriend Adam, last-minute tickets to see the Red Sox at Fenway Park, a game featuring Nashvillian Mookie Betts, whose stepfather Ron Benedict was a coworker who had been telling us about Mookie since high school. That day Mookie, in the outfield, made a spectacular diving catch and scored the winning run. 

Best of all, an iconic opening day at Dodger Stadium, where my lifelong friend Tony Plog and I took the day off to sit in the sunshine, consume Dodger dogs and frozen malts, and listen to the great Vin Scully on the radio. 

Thank you, Seoul. Thank you, baseball.


Blog: Music