Growing the Game Ep. 5—Baseball in Korea

Welcome to Season 1 Episode 5 of Growing the Game where each week I talk to a new guest about the development of a particular sport in a particular country.

My name is Zach Mason and this week, I’m elated to bring on Dan Kurtz, the founder of, which has been providing English coverage of the KBO League for the last 17 years. He’s one of the most terrific people you’ll ever meet and is such an incredible resource on all things Korean baseball, so definitely give him a follow at @myKBO on twitter and check out his website, it’s all great stuff.

Show notes: 02:35 Dan’s background 13:56 Origins of baseball in Korea 21:55 Chan-Ho Park and the IMF era 26:34 Post-WWII economic boom in Korea & effect on baseball 31:30 How international success in the 2000s reinvigorated baseball in Korea 37:15 Korean stars in the MLB and effect on KBO League, MLB fandom in Korea 46:58 How the KBO is working to increase youth participation 54:41 College baseball in Korea 56:02 The two-fold impact of the coronavirus on the KBO League 1:09:06 American vs. Korean baseball culture, comparing trajectories of the game 1:17:52 The future of baseball in Korea

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