Sunday, November 20, 2016

South Korea 2016 - KBO League

ISSUE DATE: 7 October 2016
STAMP SIZE:37 x 28.5 mm (self-adhesive)
STAMP DESIGN: Shin Jaeyong

The game of baseball began in Korea in 1905. It was introduced by an American missionary named Philip Gillett who first taught baseball to the members of the Hwangseong Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA). In 1909, Korean students studying in Tokyo formed a baseball team, and it quickly garnered popularity and helped establish baseball as a national sport in Korea. The Joseon (then Chosun) Sports Association was founded in 1920 and held the first national baseball tournament. The Joseon Baseball Association was organized in 1923. Korean baseball disappeared for a few years after 1938, at the peak of Japanese colonial rule, when the Japanese forced the Joseon Sports Association to dissolve. Following national liberation, however, the game of baseball was resurrected quickly, fueled primarily by high school baseball teams. Since its participation in the First Asian Baseball Championship held in Manila, the Philippines in 1954, the Korean baseball team has performed outstandingly in international competitions, and has consistently been one of the strongest teams in the world.

For the last 35 years, Korean professional baseball has truly become the Koreans’ favorite professional sport, and the players and fans have shared countless dramatic, memorable moments. The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) league began in 1982 with six teams; the MBC Blue Dragons, the Lotte Giants, the Samsung Lions, the OB Bears, the Haetae Tigers, and the Sammi Super Stars. Today, there are ten teams in the league: the KIA Tigers (Gwangju), the Nexen Heroes (Seoul), the Doosan Bears (Seoul), the Lotte Giants (Busan), the Samsung Lions (Daegu), the NC Dinos (Changwon), the SK Wyverns (Incheon), the LG Twins (Seoul), the KT Wiz (Suwon), and the Hanhwa Eagles (Daejeon).

Total attendance at KBO games to date has exceeded 130 million, and over the last six years, since 2011, more than six million fans came to see the games each season. Over eight million people, a record-breaking attendance, came to baseball stadiums in 2016 alone.

The Korean national team has played remarkably well in major international competitions, including its 9-0 march to the top of the Olympic podium at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, advance to the semi-finals at the 2006 WBC (World Baseball Classic), winning second place at the 2009 WBC, and becoming the champion at 2015 WBSC Premier 12. Their brilliant performances have not only raised Korean baseball’s standing in the world but also inspired countless fans across the country.

Stamp images and description thanks to Korea Post

South Korea Post