Dodgers-Padres 2024 Seoul barnstormers


MLB season opener 2024 in South Korea Image: Gocheok Sky Dome, redlegsfan21, CC BY-SA 2.0

The Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players’ Association (MLBPA) announced recently that the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres will open the 2024 regular season with two games in Seoul, South Korea on March 20th-21st, 2024. The two-game set will be a home-and-home series and the contests will represent the first ever regular season games in Korea.

‘Major League Baseball’ quoted the Dodgers President and head honcho Stan Kasten as stating, “We can’t wait to play meaningful Major League games for the very first time in front of the outstanding baseball fans of South Korea next season. The Dodgers have a long and proud history of helping to grow the game abroad, highlighted by our trips to Mexico, China and Australia. It’s very exciting to add Korea to the list. I know our players are thrilled to put their talents on display in a country so rich with baseball tradition and talent, including former Dodgers Chan Ho Park (baseball pitcher), Hee-Seop Choi and Hyun-Jin Ryu (baseball pitcher).”

New York (US)-based Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization. One of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada, the MLB comprises 30 teams, divided equally between the National League and the American League, with 29 in the United States and 1 in Canada.

US-based the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) is the labor union representing all current Major League Baseball (MLB) players. All players, managers, coaches, and athletic trainers who hold or have held a signed contract with a Major League club are eligible for membership in the Association.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are an American professional baseball team based in Los Angeles, US. The Dodgers compete in Major League Baseball as a member club of the National League West division. The 56,000-capacity Dodger Stadium serves as their home ground.

The San Diego Padres are an American professional baseball team based in San Diego, US. The Padres compete in Major League Baseball as a member club of the National League West division. Founded in 1969, the club has won two NL pennants – in 1984 and 1998, losing in the World Series both years. The 42,445-capacity Petco Park serves as their home ground.

‘Major League Baseball’ further stated that for the Dodgers, this will mark their first international trip since playing the Padres in Monterrey, Mexico in 2018. Los Angeles has also played in the 2014 Sydney (Australia) opener vs. their peer team the Arizona Diamondbacks, the 2010 exhibition games in Taiwan against the Chinese Professional Baseball League All-Stars, the 2008 exhibition games against the Padres in Beijing, China, the 2003 exhibition games against the New York Mets in Mexico City, Mexico, and the 1988 exhibition games against the Montreal Expos in San Juan, Puerto Rico (Caribbean island and unincorporated US territory), and Bayamón, Puerto Rico. Over the years, the Dodgers have also played additional exhibition games and done barnstorming tours in Japan, Mexico and the Dominican Republic (country in the Caribbean).

Los Angeles has had four South Korean-born players wear Dodger Blue, starting with Chan Ho Park (1994-2001, 2008), who was the first native of Korea to play in the Majors in 1994. Since then, Hee-Seop Choi (2004-2005), Jae-Wong Seo (2006) and Hyun-Jin Ryu (2013-2019) have played for the Dodgers. Park (2001) and Ryu (2019) both made All-Star teams and are two of the four Korean-born players to appear in the Midsummer Classic, joining Byung-hyun Kim (former baseball pitcher) (2002) and Shin-Soo Choo (baseball outfielder) (2018).

The Major League Baseball All-Star Game, also known as the ‘Midsummer Classic’, is an annual professional baseball game sanctioned by the Major League Baseball and contested between the all-stars from the American League and the National League.

The Opening Series in South Korea will mark the ninth international opener outside the 50 United States and Canada in Major League history, following the 1999 Opening Game in Monterrey, Mexico between the Colorado Rockies and the Padres. the 2000 Opening Game in Tokyo, Japan between the Mets and Chicago Cubs; the 2001 Opening Game in San Juan, Puerto Rico between the Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays; the 2004 Opening Series in Tokyo between the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and New York Yankees; the 2008 Opening Series in Tokyo between the Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics; the 2012 Opening Series in Tokyo between the Oakland Athletics and the Seattle Mariners, the 2014 Opening Series in Sydney, Australia between the Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks, and the 2019 Opening Series in Tokyo between the Oakland Athletics and the Seattle Mariners.

The MLB and the MLBPA also announced games next year in Mexico City (Houston Astros vs. Colorado Rockies, April 27th-28th) and the Dominican Republic (Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox, March 9th-10th) in addition to the previously announced London Series (New York Mets vs. Philadelphia Phillies, June 8th-9th).

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