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Korean Baseball Airs Live On American TV, Immediately Delayed By Rain … And Fire

Posted on 2020-05-06

Korean Baseball Airs Live On American TV, Immediately Delayed By Rain … And Fire

By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — You have to admit this about the year 2020. As devastating as it may be, it still has a flair for the dramatic … and a little bit of a sense of humor.

That much was beyond evident in the wee hours of Tuesday morning on the East Coast, when live sports finally returned to television in the form of Korean baseball.

ESPN made a deal with the Korean Baseball Organization to air six games every week, in an effort to sate sports fans who are desperate to watch some live sports action. While American fans are basically in the dark when it comes to players and teams in the KBO, and while these games air at ungodly hours for most people, the fact is that live baseball on TV had many, many fans excited to watch.

But then … it rained.

After all of the excitement that was built up during the day, the game between the NC Dinos and the Samsung Lions hit the air at 1 a.m. ET with a big white tarp covering the infield.

There’s a rain delay on Opening Day in the KBO

On ESPN

At 1 am

During a global pandemic

You cannot make this up pic.twitter.com/Y997rmsZyq

— Freddie Benson (@DeeH_NYC) May 5, 2020

For cryin’ out loud. Those of us desperate for live baseball tune into ESPN’s first broadcast of the Korean Baseball Organization and…rain delay.

pic.twitter.com/f73wSI4KdA

— John Hart (@JohnHartWJBF) May 5, 2020

First sporting event in months and there’s a rain delay? pic.twitter.com/9eNF9ZjpAw

— Sixers Saturdays (@SixersSaturdays) May 5, 2020

The game, though eventually got under way, with the NC Dinos winning 4-0.

The league opened its season in ballparks without any fans, though some were able to connect via video call and cheer on their teams from home.

A cheerleader performs in front of a large screen displaying baseball fans cheering from their homes. (Photo by Jung Yeon-je/AFP/Getty Images)

Cheerleaders performed to empty seats.

SK Wyverns cheerleaders perform during the KBO’s opening day. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

Well, not entirely empty seats.

The stands at SK Wyverns club’s Happy Dream Ballpark are filled with placards featuring fans (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

The stands at SK Wyverns club’s Happy Dream Ballpark are filled with placards featuring fans. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

(That’s creepier than just leaving the seats empty, no?)

In another KBO game, though, there was another delay. This one was slightly different from your usual weather delay.

In this game between Kia Tigers and Kiwoom Heroes, the game was delayed due to … a nearby fire that sent clouds of smoke into the stadium.

A look at the fire from the broadcast, right near the stadium pic.twitter.com/qipvNq1Xdi

— CJ Fogler (@cjzer0) May 5, 2020

That game wasn’t on ESPN, but with a new American market staying up late to tune in to the only game in town … the delay certainly wasn’t appreciated.

That fire eventually got under control, and Kiwoom won 11-2.

When it was all said and done, opening day in the Korean Baseball Organization provided the latest reminder that nothing can come easy in 2020.

You can email Michael Hurley or find him on Twitter @michaelFhurley.