Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Lee Byung-gyu: The Final Game

On October 8, 2016, the LG Twins faced the Doosan Bears at Jamsil Stadium (the home stadium for both teams) in the final regular season game of the year. In front of a sellout crowd, Doosan put on a show by using 2 of their premier starting pitchers, Michael Bowden and Dustin Nippert, in the same game. In the end, the final score was 11-1 in favor of Doosan. However, that didn't dampen the spirits of the LG fans that day.

When I first arrived at the stadium, I was greeted by a crowd of LG and Doosan fans lined up in order to try to pick up their reserved tickets or purchase any ticket that may have been a cancellation.

Trying to Get Their Tickets

I didn't originally get a ticket for that game because they all sold out within minutes of hitting the internet. I was lucky though because a Korean friend was able to find 2 tickets for me on the day of the game. Otherwise I would have been left watching the game on TV at one of the many pubs and restaurants just down the street from the stadium at Sincheon.

As I was making my way around the stadium and chatting with different people, all of the buzz for the LG fans was that Lee Byung-gyu had been put on the line-up card for the day and he would get a chance to appear in the game. He hadn't had a plate appearance in the KBO league for the entire season. He spent most of the season playing with the Twins KBO Futures League team so LG fans were excited to see him back in "the show" for the final game of the season.

 Inside of the Stadium

A lot of fans were saying that they knew it would be his last game before retirement so they wouldn't miss the game for anything. In the end, he ended up getting a single off of Nippert in his final KBO at bat. The fans were cheering their hearts out for him and you could really feel something special in the air. There were even Doosan fans that were cheering for him because they knew how special he had been to the Twins and the KBO over the years.
Me and My Brothers
Han Jae-kwan (Doosan Head Cheerleader) and Byeong-su

In honor of Lee Byung-gyu and his accomplishments, here are some of his cards from the Super Star Baseball and Baseball's Best cards from 2014-2015.


  1. To hear Michael Bowden's name mentioned as a premier pitcher is quite odd to this Cubs fan. He was so disappointing on the Northside of Chicago.

    Back to the topic at hand, final games for fan favorites are always an emotional time. Not quite the same thing, but I was at Chipper Jones' last game at Wrigley Field and even though he was playing for the away team, the energy was palpable.

    Also, these KBO cards are sharp!

  2. It is strange at times to hear about players that didn't do so well in the MLB becoming premier players in other countries. Bowden did a great job for the Doosan Bears this year. It was his 1st season in the KBO and he ended the year 6th in ERA, 2nd in wins, and 1st in strikeouts.

    He also threw a no-hitter on June 30th of this year. I was there to see it. It was pretty awesome and it was my first time to see a professional no-hitter in person.

    After the no-hitter he went into a bit of a slump and dropped 3 games in a row. He was having a lot of control issues at the time. He ended up finding his control again after that and ended the season at 18-7.