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The first official game stage for superstar Shohei Ohtani ( Los Angeles Dodgers), who recorded the highest ransom of all time, is not the United States or Japan, but Korea.
With Ohtani's departure to the Dodgers, Seoul, where the official opening game of the 2024 Major League Baseball (MLB) will be held, has received great attention from baseball fans around the world.
The MLB Secretariat announced in July that the opening game of the 2024 regular season will be held in Seoul from March 20 to 21, 2024.
MLB has been holding opening games all over the world to globalize baseball and promote MLB, and has set its sights on Seoul for next year.
Depending on the cold weather, the likely location for the game will be Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, the only dome stadium in Korea. MLB officials visited Gocheok Dome this summer and took a close look at the facility.
The matchup was also decided early.
The San Diego Padres, where Kim Ha-seong plays, and the Dodgers, who have many ties to Korean players such as Chan-ho Park and Hyun-jin Ryu, will visit Korea.
The opening game of MLB Seoul, which seemed like it would be the stage for Kim Ha-sung's golden return, gained tremendous excitement with Ohtani's joining the Dodgers.
Ohtani, who became a free agent after playing for the Los Angeles Angels, signed a 10-year contract with the Dodgers on the 10th for a total of $700 million (920 billion won), the highest ever contract.
Ohtani will visit Korea and play his first ‘official game’ with the Dodgers players.
Ohtani, who doubles as a pitcher, will not climb the Gocheok Dome mound.
Ohtani injured his right elbow at the end of the 2023 season and is on the operating table, requiring more than a year of rehabilitation.
Ohtani is expected to not pitch as a pitcher but only as a designated hitter.
There is so much to see. Ohtani may face off against San Diego starting pitcher Yu Darvish, a Japanese pitcher.
The enthusiasm for reporting by Japanese media is expected to be enormous.
San Diego is also considered a candidate for Lee Jeong-hoo's destination.
San Diego is looking for new resources after recently trading two starting outfielders to the New York Yankees. Lee Jeong-hoo is a strong candidate for recruitment.
There is a growing possibility that a feast of Asia's best players, including Ohtani, Lee Jeong-hoo, and Kim Ha-seong, will be held in Seoul.
Saturday, December 9, 2023