KC rolls out red carpet for Korean Royals super-fan
Posted : 2014-08-07 21:21
Updated : 2014-08-07 21:30
Lee Sung-woo, an obsessed Kansas City Royals fan from Korea, poses at the pub inside the stadium in Missouri after he was invited by the team to see his first Royals game in person. / Photo from Lee's Tweeter
By Kim Tong-hyung
To be a Kansas City Royals fans is to know pain and suffering. The team hasn't reached the postseason since winning the World Series in 1985, which represents the longest playoff drought in Major League Baseball.
Let's go out on a limb and say that being a Royals supporter in Korea is even worse. The games are never shown on local television because the Royals would never overpay for Choo Shin-soo. Your fan experience is reduced to following tweets, ESPN updates and squinting at tiny Internet videos during the oppressive morning work hours.
But the unfriendly circumstances have failed to prevent Lee Sung-woo from becoming a Royals super-fan in Yongin, a sleepy city in the outskirts of Seoul. Lee has religiously followed the Royals since the 1990s because of players such as George Brett and Frank White.
He is a beloved presence among baseball fans on Twitter for his positive attitude and optimism, which are not always what you could expect from a Royals fan.
His American friends on the Internet had called Lee the best Royals fan who never saw a game in person. That is about to change, thanks to a group of Royals supporters in Kansas City, who have invited Lee to their city for an experience of a lifetime.
Lee's friends plan to take him around the city's tourist destinations, including the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, the National World War I Museum and the iconic Boulevard Brewery. A lavish dinner is planned for Lee at Arthur Bryant's, one of the most famous barbeque restaurants in America.
The highlight of Lee's trip will come next Monday when the Royals will have him throw out the first pitch in a game against the San Francisco Giants at Kauffman Stadium.
After tweeting "Now I will be on board with @Royals blue, which @DaveDarby46 once sent me!! You guys can find me easily @KCIAirport!" from the Incheon International Airport, Lee arrived in Kansas City on Thursday (KST).
Lee seemed shocked over the massive attention he was getting from people and the media in Kansas City, saying "I am not sure I deserve this." His American friends threw him a welcoming party and they watched the Royals defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks 12-2 together at a bar.