SungWoo Lee’s well-covered first visit to the United States and Kansas City has put our city’s great people and world-class hospitality on display
. Lee’s hosts and KC ambassadors made their schedule public
so as many people as possible could have the opportunity to hang out with the now famous South Korean Royals fan.
Now, Kansas City sports fans, and especially Royals fans, can
be a cynical bunch. As The Star’s
Sam Mellinger puts it, Royals fans have been trained to think a monster is waiting for them behind every corner, because for the most part, there has
been a monster waiting for us behind every corner. Conversations between friends about the Royals tend to involve a lot of pessimism, sarcasm and snark. But if you stay locked into the twittersphere during Royals games you’re likely to see a tweet or two from @KoreanFan_KC
pop up on your timeline, and you’ll immediately notice his incredibly positive and friendly attitude. When he tweets during the games, he doesn’t talk about Billy’s GIDP numbers, or Moose’s low batting average, or sarcastically respecting GMDM’s “process.” No, he talks about having hope when a struggling Esky steps up to the plate, or he’s enthusiastically using the hashtag “Let’s Throw Fire,” or he’s chatting back and forth with other equally positive fans.
This is a guy who bought into the Kansas City Royals years ago from halfway across the world when he could have easily been a fan of a larger market team like the Dodgers, Red Sox or Yankees. He manages to stay genuinely positive while getting up in the middle of the night to stream Royals games from South Korea, and it’s been awesome to see, through all the coverage, how grateful and excited he was to have finally had the chance to visit our city.
Since landing on American soil on August 5th, the hottest team in baseball rattled off 7 straight victories and 9 out of 10 during his stay. In comparison does this make him our very own Angel in the Outfield? Regardless of whether it happens to be pot luck or just a matter of the youthful Royals clicking on all cylinders at the right time, the infamous SungWoo Lee's presence has become American folklore and he himself a local phenom.
Kansas City also deserves a pat on the back for rolling out the red carpet and entertaining such madness. A city that continues to create positive steps toward its very own credibility embraced SungWoo Lee's arrival with the same genuine approval as his very own loyalty to our hometown team.
Whether you were following along with his every move or simply wondering where this gentlemen came from, there should be one irrefutable conclusion. It was just as good for Kansas City as it was for SungWoo Lee. In a growing city with talented people helping to build it up we must continue to facilitate this union of acceptance towards outsiders coming to visit, eager to see what all Kansas City has to offer. Not too mention, we should all carry the very same attitude towards our sports teams, keeping them here for our future generations to experience the same way we are able to.
In honor of SungWoo Lee’s fanhood and loyalty, I say we all try to be a little bit more positive about our Boys in Blue as they come down the final stretch of the season and sit back and enjoy the ride. Get out to the K and go support our city, they deserve us!