"I've been waiting for the moment to say this; It was such a wonderful year," said Minkee Park, one of my friend and a passionate baseball fan. As a fan of LG Twins Baseball Club, it wasn't strange for him to say so because LG ended this season as the 2nd on the pennant race and 3rd on the post season, which is the first time in 11 years. It was such a big news that even people who are not interested in baseball knew it.
"Congratulations. I really wanted to see Samsung and LG match at the Korean Series, but it didn't go really well," I said. "But anyway, they made it up to post season and how did you feel?"
"Congratulations on your team's victory. It was not surprising because it was exactly same with everybody's expectations, which was totally not fun. You know, sports need a drama, such as revenge of the fallen. Anyway, I wished LG to make to Korean Series more than you did, but as you know, we've lost helpless," he said with sad smile. I could understand his feelings. This season was the closest moment that LG could win all the spotlights. And as far as I know, he is the one who truly and mostly loves the baseball around me. I could definitely sympathize with his despondency.
Leaning back to his chair, he started to tell me how he became a fan of LG. It was a long story.
Before 2008, baseball was just a boring sport for him. Like many people who are not a big fan of baseball, watching the game under the blazing sun for nearly four hours was a big pressure and beyond his understandings. But when Korea won the gold medal in the baseball for the first time at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, he was excited. Pride as a Korean made him get interested in baseball for a short period.
That was the first time he met LG Twins. He got interested, so he went to the stadium to watch the game of LG with his friend for the first time in his life. There were so many people which outnumbered his imagination, cheering the team by waving red sticks and singing the songs. He became familiar with the team, but they ranked the lowest. With that, he also had to prepare university admission exam. Those surroundings made him step back from baseball and LG.
After the exam got over, he could finally watch baseball as a hobby. And naturally, he started to care about LG Twins. However, in 2010, LG ranked second to the bottom. For 11 years, LG was humiliated by many people by their low ranks that LG was meant to fall. However, those humiliations actually made his love toward the team deeper than ever. He cheered the team with hope and will that someday LG will be on the top and look down the other teams and fans who humiliated them. There was nothing to fear with other LG fans who always cheered the team, whether the team was doing good or not. He firmly believed that someday—maybe the next season—his team would stand on the top.
"Then, finally 2013 arrived. You know, I was serving the army until last year, so it was hard for me to enjoy baseball. But this year, I finished my military service and I could finally fully enjoy the baseball." At first, he was so much disappointed to the team. They lost few players by match fixing scandals, and unlike the other seasons, his team remained at the low rank for all spring. However, the team started the race toward the top since summer, and they finally ended the season as the 2nd. Yes, it was the revenge of the fallen. "I was, I don't know. I was just extremely happy. I can't really make it into words even now. I was watching the game during my sister's wedding—well, of course not in the middle of the ceremony—but anyway, I just jumped and screamed in my mind when they were decided as the 2nd."
He said every LG fans were looking forward to October, when the playoff would be held. It was the first time in the 11 years, so everyone was preparing to enjoy the autumn festival in their own ways. For him, it was the first time to watch playoff in his life, so he bought a leather jacket which couldn't be worn for 11 years—obviously, summer was too hot to wear it—and eventually became a symbol of post season. However, scud of LG was only up to the playoff. Regardless of fan's wishes, LG failed to make to Korean Series, by losing 3:1 to Doosan Bears.
"I was very disappointed and heartbroken that LG wasted its chance to win because of lack of experience. However, I really want to give them a big hand. I know how much effort they put to win this season. Although we were close to the victory, we failed. And although we failed, we have next year. It's better to forget and wait for the next year. I'm sure we will be the champion next year. Get ready."