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Monday, August 11, 2014

To Sung Woo, Thanks For Everything! Rany Jazayerli

Hey, I’m a Korean Royals fan too!

This summer, Sung Woo finally decided to take the plunge. Taking advantage of a job change, he was able to carve out ten days from his schedule to come to Kansas City, watch the Royals play, and maybe do a little sight-seeing and barbecue-eating while he was in town. He emailed Kamler and fellow Royals fan Dave Darby that he was buying his plane ticket and reserving his hotel room; they told him not to worry about transportation, that they’d pick him up and drive him to the ballpark and introduce him to Arthur Bryant’s and maybe the Negro League Museum while he was in town.

If the story had ended there, that would have been enough: three people who have never met, and can barely communicate with each other, bonding together like long-lost friends over a shared mutual interest in a crappy baseball team. A couple of guys were going to take a day or two off of work to show a complete stranger around town. Movies have been made with flimsier plots…..

For posterity’s sake, I’m going to do my best to summarize what has happened since, though to save time I won’t be able to link to everything. To get the full flavor, check out Sung Woo’s Twitter feed, or Kamler’s.

- Greeted by camera crews Tuesday afternoon, was on four local TV broadcasts that night.

- Was featured in the Star Wednesday morning.

- Took a tour of the Negro League Museum later that morning, featuring tour guide Bob Kendrick and an entourage of two dozen people.

- Gets featured at Deadspin and USA Today.

- Has lunch at Arthur Bryant’s.

- Is interviewed on 610 Sports that afternoon.

- Trolls the Best Fans In Baseball.

- Tours Boulevard Brewing Company that evening.

- With the Royals still playing in Arizona, he gets a shoutout from Danny Duffy – who, behind the scenes, also had a lot to do with Sung Woo’s story becoming as big as it has – on the Royals pre-game show.

- Got an email from Mike Sweeney.

- This is all still Wednesday, by the way.

- Appeared on 96.5 The Buzz Thursday morning. Was given a helmet signed by Billy Butler and a hat signed by Bruce Chen from the station.

- Is featured in the English-language Korea Times.

- Received a personal tour of Kauffman Stadium from the Royals, led by Jennifer Splittorff, who presented him with a SPLITT patch and one of her dad’s bobbleheads afterwards. Goes out on the field, touches the grass, picks up a bullpen phone, basically does everything short of hitting a double in the gap.

- Gets a personalized “SungWoo Lee” #23 Royals jersey, presented by Curt Nelson, the Director of the Royals’ Hall of Fame.

- Walks across the Truman Sports Complex to tailgate before the Chiefs’ preseason opener.

- Is presented with his own personalized #1 jersey by the Chiefs, gets tickets near the 50-yard line. Meets former players and current team president Mark Donovan.

- Friday was a pre-scheduled trip to see the Double-A Northwest Arkansas Naturals, so much of it was spent in the car. However, once there he managed to:

- Watch batting practice from next to the cage;

- Get invited into the clubhouse by manager Vance Wilson, who had heard about his story;

- Shake hands with every player one by one, and give Mitch Maier – back mentoring the baby Royals – a bear hug.

- Rode the Naturals’ pickup onto the field with their mascots.

- Got on the field as a human bowling ball during a mid-inning promotion. He managed to knock over six pins.

- Got Maier’s autographed jersey after the game.

Saturday, he was back in Kansas City for his first chance to watch the Royals play live.

- Prior to the game he was the star of a massive tailgate party in the parking lot, where he met his adoring masses.

- Appeared on the Jumbotron in the middle of the fifth inning.

- Was a story on Sportscenter – SPORTSCENTER – after the game Saturday night.

- Appeared in studio with Joel Goldberg and Jeff Montgomery on today’s pre-game show. Montgomery gave him an autographed glove as a gift.

- Took part in the dance-off competition against Jimmy Faseler – whose spot as Everyone’s Favorite Royals Fan he usurped. Sung Woo won, of course. (Sorry, Jimmy.)

- Was featured at MLB.com.

Somewhere along the way he appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered. He’s gotten tweets sent to him from Jeremy Guthrie, Eric Hosmer, and Billy Butler (at least – there may be more.)

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 11, 2014 at 10:23 AM | 48 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: fans, korea, rany jazayerli, royals

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   1. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: August 11, 2014 at 12:03 PM (#4768541)
Fun story! Maybe I'll start pulling for the Royals now. God knows their fans deserve some fun.
   2. JRVJ Posted: August 11, 2014 at 12:14 PM (#4768550)
I, for one, am very glad that the Royals are competitive and that Rany is getting his kicks.
   3. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: August 11, 2014 at 12:23 PM (#4768561)
The biggest surprise here is seeing Mitch Maier's name one more time.
   4. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 11, 2014 at 12:35 PM (#4768572)
And, of course, the Royals don't lose a single game while he's in the states, grabbing the lead for the second wild card spot and pulling a half game behind Detroit in the AL Central. That really had to make the visit even more special.

   5. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: August 11, 2014 at 12:45 PM (#4768579)
This is a great story, but it's also a wonderful piece of writing by Rany.
   6. villageidiom Posted: August 11, 2014 at 12:58 PM (#4768593)
Seconding #5.

My son, for many years rooting for the Blue Jays as a form of dissent in this Red Sox vs. Yankees town, is happy to see them in the playoff hunt again. But he's now learning to hate the Royals, because they are ruining his chance to see something he's waited his whole life for. Never mind that there are people twice his age who have been waiting for the Royals to win. In the meantime I'm thrilled to see the Royals do well, which I think pisses him off more.
   7. Shibal Posted: August 11, 2014 at 01:26 PM (#4768621)
Rany continues to be the most likeable Saber dude from the rec.baseball days. He knows how to make a point and debate without being insufferable, not an easy accomplishment.
   8. JRVJ Posted: August 11, 2014 at 02:08 PM (#4768653)
I agree with 7.

I'm pretty sure that I would genuinely like Rany if I interacted with him on a regular basis.
   9. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 11, 2014 at 02:39 PM (#4768678)
So, who wants to pick a random Korean team to be a fan of? Should be a pretty awesome trip in about 20 years.
   10. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 11, 2014 at 02:40 PM (#4768680)
I plan on taking in the Yankees September series in Tampa, in case anyone wants to commemorate the occasion. Or if this just a Kansas City thing, I might be available when the Yankees are in town next season. I suppose rooting for the home team might be a necessary predicate for the Big Welcome. Oh well.
   11. Random Transaction Generator Posted: August 11, 2014 at 02:44 PM (#4768685)
And, of course, the Royals don't lose a single game while he's in the states,


The Royals are going to go to SK, kidnap Sung Woo, and drag him back to the US if the Royals are still in the race in late September.
   12. Manny Coon Posted: August 11, 2014 at 03:06 PM (#4768702)
So, who wants to pick a random Korean team to be a fan of? Should be a pretty awesome trip in about 20 years.


The team with the creepy surrogate cheering robots seems like a good choice.
   13. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 11, 2014 at 03:08 PM (#4768705)

The Royals are going to go to SK, kidnap Sung Woo, and drag him back to the US if the Royals are still in the race in late September.


Dear Leader David Glass approves.
   14. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 11, 2014 at 03:11 PM (#4768710)
So, who wants to pick a random Korean team to be a fan of? Should be a pretty awesome trip in about 20 years.


I'll go with the team that invited her to throw out the first pitch. I'm still very appreciative.
   15. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: August 11, 2014 at 05:19 PM (#4768858)
Clearly, the Tigers should get their own Korean fan...except Asian products aren't too popular in Detroit.
   16. Batman Posted: August 11, 2014 at 05:31 PM (#4768866)
The team with the creepy surrogate cheering robots seems like a good choice.
The New York Yankees?
   17. villageidiom Posted: August 11, 2014 at 05:43 PM (#4768873)
We had quite a turnout in Boston when Phil Coorey traveled halfway around the world to take in a Red Sox game against the Angels in '05. But on reading this article he's probably thinking how lame it was. Yeah, all they did for me was buy a few rounds and yell at Chone Figgins for no reason. Bastards.
   18. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: August 11, 2014 at 06:59 PM (#4768931)
The team with the creepy surrogate cheering robots seems like a good choice.


Yeah, I was thinking about this one. I could even attend as one of the robots!
   19. Textbook Editor Posted: August 11, 2014 at 08:57 PM (#4768996)
In my previous life as a small-town movie reviewer, I actually had to review "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar." I confess I have no recollection of the relevance of the title to the plot, but it was not a very good movie. It might be the worst-titled film I've ever actually seen.
   20. Bobvila Posted: August 11, 2014 at 09:18 PM (#4769013)
disagree. That movie was funny.
   21. The District Attorney Posted: August 11, 2014 at 09:30 PM (#4769022)
I certainly wouldn't say the worst title, anyway. It's a goofy movie; it has a goofy title.

Worst title is really probably something like Someone Like You that you forget immediately upon hearing it.
   22. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: August 12, 2014 at 01:32 AM (#4769157)
I certainly wouldn't say the worst title, anyway. It's a goofy movie; it has a goofy title.

Worst title is really probably something like Someone Like You that you forget immediately upon hearing it.


I think John Carter wins this category for me.
   23. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: August 12, 2014 at 09:58 AM (#4769218)
bumping this because more people need to read it. :)

Also, of course the Royals won again on the night of Song Woo's first pitch and still haven't lost since he arrived. This Red Sox fan is officially rooting his ass off for the Royals to go all the way.
   24. JE (Jason) Posted: August 12, 2014 at 10:14 AM (#4769242)
Haven't yet RTFA, but does this kid have a job? If so, I imagine his employer doesn't give a damn how some American cow town's ball club is doing.
   25. Rennie's Tenet Posted: August 12, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4769282)
does this kid have a job


He's apparently taking advantage of a little employment gap while switching jobs. He's only been in the states for a (hectic) week.
   26. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 12, 2014 at 10:39 AM (#4769287)

Haven't yet RTFA, but does this kid have a job? If so, I imagine his employer doesn't give a damn how some American cow town's ball club is doing.


He works at Samsung. He's been saving up vacation for some time.

This is my new wallpaper.
   27. Random Transaction Generator Posted: August 12, 2014 at 10:56 AM (#4769307)
Worst title is really probably something like Someone Like You that you forget immediately upon hearing it.


I think John Carter wins this category for me.


The winner, hands down, is "It Could Happen To You".

The original title for the movie was "Cop Gives Waitress Two Million Dollar Tip", which would immediately catch your attention and at least suggest a reason to watch it.
The final title is dull and meaningless and gives no indication about the story.
   28. JE (Jason) Posted: August 12, 2014 at 11:02 AM (#4769315)
He's apparently taking advantage of a little employment gap while switching jobs. He's only been in the states for a (hectic) week.

He works at Samsung. He's been saving up vacation for some time.

I can't imagine the Royals are going to let him board the flight home without a fight.
   29. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: August 12, 2014 at 11:08 AM (#4769322)
I can't imagine the Royals are going to let him board the flight home without a fight.
No kidding. I would fully expect them to offer to fly him back for the playoffs if they make it.
   30. Omineca Greg Posted: August 12, 2014 at 01:17 PM (#4769435)
Worst movie title ever was "American Pie"!

I took my two young kids to it so they could learn something about Buddy Holly. It didn't work out.

You would have to think "Making Sweet Love To A Pie" would have done better box office, but I guess when you're trying to sell a cinematically under used theme like teen-age sex, it makes sense to give it a misleading title in hopes of roping in a few stray music fans.

Don't even get me started on "I Am Curious (Yellow)"...I thought it was about that monkey and his friend "The Man With The Yellow Hat"...It was not.
   31. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: August 12, 2014 at 01:27 PM (#4769453)
The winner, hands down, is "It Could Happen To You".

The original title for the movie was "Cop Gives Waitress Two Million Dollar Tip", which would immediately catch your attention and at least suggest a reason to watch it.
The final title is dull and meaningless and gives no indication about the story.

A similar transformation happened with this summer's Tom Cruise movie Edge of Tomorrow....which was adapted from a novel titled All You Need Is Kill.

Edge of Tomorrow seems like something Jean-Claude Van Damme would have starred in in 1987. All You Need Is Kill just sounds ####### awesome.
   32. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 12, 2014 at 01:30 PM (#4769464)
Worst movie title ever was "American Pie"!

I took my two young kids to it so they could learn something about Buddy Holly. It didn't work out.

You would have to think "Making Sweet Love To A Pie" would have done better box office, but I guess when you're trying to sell a cinematically under used theme like teen-age sex, it makes sense to give it a misleading title in hopes of roping in a few stray music fans.

Don't even get me started on "I Am Curious (Yellow)"...I thought it was about that monkey and his friend "The Man With The Yellow Hat"...It was not.


You better not tell me that the next vehicular vehicle in the Cars, Planes series is not Short Bus, because I've got Netflix cued up and a house full of 8-year-old boys ready for some cinematic excitement.
   33. PreservedFish Posted: August 12, 2014 at 01:36 PM (#4769475)
I took my two young kids to it so they could learn something about Buddy Holly. It didn't work out.


This is a joke, right?
   34. Manny Coon Posted: August 12, 2014 at 01:43 PM (#4769490)
Don't even get me started on "I Am Curious (Yellow)"...I thought it was about that monkey and his friend "The Man With The Yellow Hat"...It was not.


And don't get me started on Curious George 2, who in Hollywood decided it was necessary to dumb down a franchise already written for pre-schoolers!? It only works for me if I assume "Ted" isn't actually the man with the yellow hat, but his incompetent loser twin brother, who has assumed the MWtYH's identity while the real one was away.
   35. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 12, 2014 at 02:12 PM (#4769539)
Worst movie title ever was "American Pie"!

I took my two young kids to it so they could learn something about Buddy Holly. It didn't work out.

You would have to think "Making Sweet Love To A Pie" would have done better box office, but I guess when you're trying to sell a cinematically under used theme like teen-age sex, it makes sense to give it a misleading title in hopes of roping in a few stray music fans.

Don't even get me started on "I Am Curious (Yellow)"...I thought it was about that monkey and his friend "The Man With The Yellow Hat"...It was not.


Nelson and Bart walk out of a theater with the marquee "Naked Lunch."

Nelson: There are at least two things wrong with that title.
   36. Zach Posted: August 12, 2014 at 02:15 PM (#4769542)
Maybe I have odd taste, but "I Am Curious (Yellow)" and "To Wong Foo: Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar" strike me as conspicuously good titles. They me curious about movies that I would ordinarily never even consider.

The best movie title ever would have to be "Sex, Lies, and Videotape." Give someone that title and a camera, and it seems like they'd have to come up with a great movie.

"Gone With the Wind" seems like you could make any one of about five great movies that fit the title.
   37. villageidiom Posted: August 12, 2014 at 02:16 PM (#4769544)
You better not tell me that the next vehicular vehicle in the Cars, Planes series is not Short Bus, because I've got Netflix cued up and a house full of 8-year-old boys ready for some cinematic excitement.
No, but if the kids are familiar with the Peter Rabbit story, go ahead and show them The Brown Bunny.
   38. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 12, 2014 at 02:23 PM (#4769554)
Maybe I have odd taste, but "I Am Curious (Yellow)" and "To Wong Foo: Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar" strike me as conspicuously good titles. They me curious about movies that I would ordinarily never even consider.


I concur.

To me, the worst title ever was Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. Not becuase it wasn't curiosity-piquing, but because with the exception of the of the*, none of those words would ever be found in any movie I think I'd want to see.

* As found in History of the World, Part I or Romero's Dead series.
   39. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 12, 2014 at 02:44 PM (#4769574)
"Hot Dog: The Movie" is the wurst movie title.
   40. Omineca Greg Posted: August 12, 2014 at 04:15 PM (#4769664)
Only tangentially related in that it plays on the title...but heck, when else is it going to come up?

This is my first post ever that has anything to do with baseball whatsoever, so at the very least it's a milestone. For me.

Catcher In The Rye

   41. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: August 12, 2014 at 05:07 PM (#4769714)
Maybe I have odd taste, but "I Am Curious (Yellow)" and "To Wong Foo: Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar" strike me as conspicuously good titles

you should be aware that the actual title of the film in Sweden was simply "I Am Curious", or more accurately, "I Am Curious--a film in yellow" to distinguish it from it's sequel "I Am Curious--a film in blue*" The titles of both were shortened when they were shown in the US of A


*blue & yellow being the colors of the Swedish flag
   42. Brian White Posted: August 12, 2014 at 05:21 PM (#4769725)
Nelson and Bart walk out of a theater with the marquee "Naked Lunch."

Nelson: There are at least two things wrong with that title.


Lionel Hutz: This is the most blatant case of false advertising since my suit against the movie The Neverending Story!
   43. Moeball Posted: August 12, 2014 at 05:58 PM (#4769757)
"Gone With the Wind" seems like you could make any one of about five great movies that fit the title.


"Gone in 60 seconds", on the other hand, kind of was a perfect description of Nicolas Cage's once promising career.
   44. Zach Posted: August 12, 2014 at 06:14 PM (#4769767)
you should be aware that the actual title of the film in Sweden was simply "I Am Curious", or more accurately, "I Am Curious--a film in yellow" to distinguish it from it's sequel "I Am Curious--a film in blue*" The titles of both were shortened when they were shown in the US of A


I agree, but I think "I am Curious (Yellow)" is more evocative, even if it's accidentally so.

And, of course, if I investigated the title, I would discover that it's a film about sexual mores in '60s Sweden...
   45. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: August 12, 2014 at 06:23 PM (#4769773)
I agree, but I think "I am Curious (Yellow)" is more evocative, even if it's accidentally so.

And, of course, if I investigated the title, I would discover that it's a film about sexual mores in '60s Sweden...

yes--it was banned in a lot of places here
   46. Swedish Chef Posted: August 12, 2014 at 07:00 PM (#4769794)
And, of course, if I investigated the title, I would discover that it's a film about sexual mores in '60s Sweden...

The film as a whole certainly isn't about sex, it's used more like something to spice up the boring socio-political parts.
   47. Zach Posted: August 12, 2014 at 08:04 PM (#4769822)
The film as a whole certainly isn't about sex, it's used more like something to spice up the boring socio-political parts.

Crossfire was never the same after they figured out this trick.
   48. Omineca Greg Posted: August 13, 2014 at 10:54 AM (#4770086)
I thought the ides of drinking 285 bottles of whisky to collect the complete set of almost identical ceramic figurines was humourous, but like all things SCTV, YMMV. They even have Johnny Roseboro, so if you could find a Juan Marichal (not in a bottle of whisky apparently) action figure somewhere, you could stage a battle, and then the lawsuit, and then have them play golf tournaments together, and then at the end Juan could give his HOF speech, while a tearful Johnny (you wouldn't be able to see his tears because they'd be hidden behind his little ceramic mask) watched on. Presumably tears of joy, tinged with regret, but with that mask in the way it would be pretty hard to tell.

For genuine Swedish children's fare that includes a lot of socio-political parts, check out Bamse. I don't even know how to begin to explain it...

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