Andrew Farrell, Home runs, KIA Tigers, Munhak Baseball Stadium, Photo collection, Samsung Lions, SK Wyverns, SK Wyverns Home Run Brigade, Stadium, Trey Hillman

Munhak Baseball Stadium is much-loved, and it is easy to see why!

There is a highway from Incheon Airport that veers south before Seoul and eventually plants drivers and passengers to a small outpost on the border with Gyeonggi Province called Seoksu.

As you make your way further from the airport and away from the new towns scaring the Incheon skyline, there is a stretch of road approximately 2kms long that has a glorious view of the expensive monuments built so Korea could host major continental and global events.

First you pass the 49,000-capacity 2002 World Cup Stadium, formerly the home of Incheon United FC and primary venue for the 2014 Asian Games. In this arena, South Korea beat Portugal 1-0 in a pool game during the 2002 World Cup. Now it is empty. Just sitting there, looking resplendent next to the 2nd Gyeongin Expressway.

Across a short park from the football stadium is the swimming arena for the 2014 Asian Games and further down the road you’ll find more venues, including a rugby field. All empty.

However, adjacent to the football stadium, you’ll spot the baseball park many believe to be the best in Korea. From afar, it doesn’t look special. It has that flat-pack feel to it; a stadium design you see in a catalogue and then pick up at your local Costco, Ikea or BnQ. Assemble and then use. Gwangju and Daegu, sort of, come under this description too.

Outside isn’t particularly jaw dropping either. There’s nothing to do apart from wait for the game. The subway station is a short walk but the location isn’t great.

But once you’re inside, you see a park of genuine beauty. And the tenants, SK Wyverns, and the operator, City of Incheon, deserve immense credit. It holds 26,000 people now but it has a significant grassy outfield, great tables, an awesome score board and a pub with views of the field.

The Wynerns built something of a dynasty inside these gates. Between 2007 and 2012, they won 3 titles (’07, ’08 and 2010), and lost in the Korean Series as many times (’09 to the Tigers, and 2011 and ’12 to Samsung Lions). Playoff appearances have been few and far between since then, but this season the Wyverns are playing some of the best baseball in Korea under Trey Hillman. Post season should be guaranteed. This is a good time to see them and the stadium.

The only downside is too many seats don’t have assigned numbers so a lot of people sit in the aisles.

Oh, and they call it Incheon SK Happy Dream Park.

Here are some photos of a beautiful baseball field.

 

 

For more information on how to catch a game at Munhak, please visit our page in the stadium guide: https://grandslamkbo.com/2016/09/06/munhak-baseball-stadium/

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