Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association announced Friday morning that major league players will travel to South Korea in November for a four-game exhibition series involving players from the Korea Baseball Organization. The “2022 Korea Series” will run from Nov. 9-16 and feature two-game sets at Busan’s Sajik Baseball Stadium (home to the KBO’s Lotte Giants) and at Seoul’s Gocheok Sky Dome (home to the KBO’s Kiwoom Heroes).
The four-game series is both a part of MLB’s new “MLB World Tour” initiative to expand the game’s global presence and a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the KBO.
“Major League Baseball is excited to travel to Busan and Seoul for this historic series,” said MLB chief operations & strategy officer Chris Marinak in a statement within this morning’s press release. “This tour is the next step of MLB’s plan to deliver regular baseball events in Korea in the coming years and follows our upcoming Home Run Derby X, scheduled for September 17th in Seoul. South Korea’s rich baseball tradition has produced many accomplished major league players, including All-Stars Chan Ho Park and Shin-Soo Choo, as well as current Blue Jays pitcher Hyun Jin Ryu and Rays first baseman Ji-Man Choi. We thank J-One and the KBO for partnering with us and the MLBPA on this great event.”
As MLB’s release further indicates, this will be the first time Major League players have traveled to play games in South Korea in a century, when a group including Casey Stengel, Waite Hoyt and Herb Pennock, among others, made the trip back in 1922.
Under the MLB World Tour, MLB and the MLBPA have agreed to host as many as 24 regular season games and 16 exhibition contests between Asia, Europe, Latin America and Mexico through 2026. The KBO’s news release (hat tip: Jee-ho Yoo of South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency) indicates that KBO commissioner Koo-youn Heo and MLB commissioner Rob Manfred discussed back in June the possibility of regular-season KBO games being played in the United States and of regular-season MLB games being played in South Korea.
MLB and the MLBPA have yet to announce a slate of participants who’ll travel to South Korea for the event. The KBO release indicates that further details regarding schedule, matchups, ticket sales and participants on both the MLB and KBO side of the event will be announced at a September press conference.