I attended this game with my three of my friends: Josh, Jason, and Jeff. We got to the ballpark about a half hour before game time (no need to try to go to BP… see my last entry). We approached and saw a plethora of fans including these guys with giant fans and samurai garb (who’d been featured on ESPN on Sunday during the game).
They gave fans “rally towels”of varying colors as they entered… they have the consistency of a washcloth that’s been run through the laundry 200 times…mine was blue.
Jeff had a ticket for the Top Deck and Jason had one for the opposite side of the Reserve Level from where Josh and I had seats but we all managed to sit together just past first base near Section 32. Tonight it would be Korea vs. Japan for all the World Baseball marbles.
We saw little flags set up on the field before the game (you can see them in the photo below) and it definitely looked like some pregame ceremonies were in the works.
Flags and fireworks and drummers, oh my!
And after three national anthems played by the live orchestra (of which the USA’s was way too long) and some streamers…
…the game was under way. It started off slow if you’re like Jason and want a baseball smashfest every time you go to the park. Korea was getting no hit through three innings and Japan was on top 1-0. In the 5th inning, Shin-Soo Choo, who hit a three-run blast on Saturday, smacked a homer to right center to tie the game at one. The Japanese went ahead 3-1 in the late goings but the Koreans scored a run in the eighth and another in the bottom of the ninth off a wild Yu Darvish to tie it. Extra innings! Dodger Stadium was bouncing with the energy of all the fans.
Later I found out the attendence was 54,846–more than I’d ever seen at a Dodger game. And it seemed like nobody had left. The game came down to Ichiro… he came through for Japan, knocking a two-run single up the middle to give his team a 5-3 lead that they held though the bottom of the 10th. Two-Time WBC Champions: Japan.
It was a fun night out with friends and with fans from all over. Great energy and a lot of excitement. Whatever MLB decides to do with the WBC (the next one’s scheduled for 2013… so as not to conflict with teams prepping for the Olympics in 2012) I hope to still be able to attend. These games are always a blast!