A Rainy Day on October 16, 2016
Team Jokbal was in the stands of Jamsil Stadium on October 16, 2016 before there was even an official Team Jokbal. What was going on that day? It was a cold rainy day and Game 3 of the 2016 KBO Semi-playoff was going on between the Nexen Heroes and LG Twins. Going into game 3 at Jamsil, the series stood at a 1-1 tie between the Heroes and Twins.
Even with a chill in the air and a continuous drizzle, fans still turned out in mass to brave the elements, wave their flags, and see their favorite teams play. That is how this flag came into the hands of Team Jokbal.
Procuring The Flag
Anyone familiar with KBO playoff games knows that teams will print up a bunch of flags and give them to random fans as a gift to wave throughout the game. On the day in question, we were in the stands on the Nexen side of the stadium but the flag guys never came our way and all of the flags had been handed out before they got to our area. It didn't really matter much to us since we were there to watch the game and we already knew how difficult it could be to get a team flag.
We soldiered on sitting in the cold, fighting for seats, and sipping on a few beverages. We watched LG strike first in the 4th inning by scoring 2 runs and saw the LG flags begin to wave. During most of the game the Nexen and LG flags remained motionless and then Nexen picked up 1 run in the 5th to bring the score within 1. At that point, Nexen fans cheered and waved their flags with pride. Now we had a nail biter on our hands as victory was easily within reach for either team. However, in the 7th inning, the LG Twins put up 2 more runs to make the score 4-1 and the LG flags went to work again. The Nexen flags remained motionless.
At the top of the 9th, there was still a lot of hope for the Heroes and fans continued to cheer them on. Unfortunately, 3 outs later, the Heroes had dropped game 3 by 3 runs and the fans began to take out their frustration by throwing their flags in the trash. We were lucky enough to be walking down behind some of them and grabbed a couple of the flags.
10 months Later
Ten months later, the Nexen flags were sitting in our apartments with the hope of being hung on the wall of a room one day. At that point a thought came to mind. Why didn't we get one of them signed by some of the Nexen guys and sell it in the charity auction?
With the help of Nexen pitcher Andy Van Hekken, that is exactly what we did and are doing. We got the flag into the hands of Andy in the second half of this season and asked if he could get some of the guys to sign it for us. He told us that he thought what we were doing was great and would be happy to get some of the guys to sign it for us. A couple of months later we got the flag back with the signatures of 10 of the Heroes.
The flag looks great and we can't wait to raise money to help out orphanages in South Korea by selling it during the upcoming auction.
For his help, Team Jokbal would like to say thanks to Andy Van Hekken for taking the time to get the flag signed for us. We would also like to thank all of the other players who signed the flag. We are sure that it will help raise a lot of money for the kids.
Team Jokbal tried and failed at making a decent advertisement with KIA Tigers players Hector Noesi, Pat Dean and Roger Bernadina.
Having built up a decent collection of items, Team Jokbal has started its preparations to sell the items for charity. This may turn out to be even more difficult. It has almost turned into a full time job! We have had to start a much more aggressive social media campaign. We have had to work on the logistics of the auction. We are figuring how to increase the value of items. We have also had to start making advertisements.
Our first attempt, with Jeff Manship of the NC Dinos, went pretty well. That was possibly because we kept out of the way. Jeff made it himself on his own phone and sent it to us.
Team Jokbal: Making Baseball Fun Again!
The response of the players has shocked us. We never thought that they would be pilling to help out so much. But in return that has placed extra expectations on us. The business of delivering for the orphanages was always a serious promise but the sheer quantity and value of the items that we have received, place extra pressures. We aren't complaining, we are determined to keep our promises.
One of those promises was to "Make Baseball Fun Again!" Even if we had never received any items from any players, we were determined to help people smile. We had felt too many teams were working on sucking out enjoyment while increasing prices. Stadiums had become filled with corporate types and the atmosphere was getting too serious.
With this in mind, we were always a bit silly. We enjoyed acting the fools and lots of people around the country joined in. But changing gears has presented some problems. This showed itself very clearly when we went to Suwon to meet with Hector, Pat and Roger.
Team Jokbal Meets The KIA Tigers
Back to the point of this whole article. We had met all 3 of the KIA foreign players over the course of the season and knew them to be great guys. They had helped us so much already and we felt bad asking them for anything else at such a crucial stage of the season. This is where the job has got a little difficult, we don't like to bother players and we try to remain respectful but we now have a responsibility to our charities. Basically, we have to try to get as much money for each item as possible. That is the point of what we are doing. So, we contacted the KIA interpreter to ask if we could get some pictures and make an advertisement.
So we arrive at the stadium and we message the interpreter. He says that they will come out in a moment. I go to the door as instructed. A boy is waiting with a ball that he wants to get signed but even he has lost hope of any chance of that happening. His Dad tells him that it is time to go. There are lots of people lining up for tickets at the desks 20 meters away. There are a bunch of stalker fans, as usual. And of course hundreds of people wondering around meeting friends. Non of them are expecting what happens next.
The little white door opens and out walks Hector Noesi, the league topping pitcher. Everybody stops and pauses. A few seconds pass as people do their double-takes and then a ripple of screams of "Oh! Hectoh!" At this point, few people have noticed that Roger Bernadina and Pat Dean have followed him out of the door. But soon they realize! Before the three of us have finished our greetings, we are swamped. Well... those three guys are, We were just stood with them. We felt so embarrassed. We had put a pack of vultures around the guys. People were pushing and pulling and asking for anything and everything to be signed. This is the last thing that we wanted to do. Hector soon suggests that we head into the locker room area. As usual, security have different ideas but as usual they lose.
Making the KIA Tigers Jokbal Advertisement
It was meant to be simple. Jeff Manship had shown us how easily a 9 second advert could be put together. How hard can it be? Very!
We won't go into too much detail as you can see for yourselves in the video. Put simply the 4 of us could not get our timing together. Try after try. One of us would jump the gun. Somebody would forget the line or say something different. Sometimes, we didn't realize that we were still being filmed.
But we wouldn't be deterred. The guys were good sports and finally a usable video was made. This final edit will be published closer to the auction date.
Here comes The KIA Coach!
In the words of Pat Dean, "We nailed it!" We were all relieved that the ordeal was over and had started kicking it in the hallway for a couple of minutes. We were just starting to settle down and then someone shouted down the hallway at us. It was the KIA Tigers coach, Kim Kit Tae.
We almost had heart attacks. Had we got the guys into trouble? This really wasn't going well. The nerves were back. But it seemed that Kim Ki Tae was curious rather than angry. He then beckoned us over to him. Suddenly, we remembered that we had a spare ball. Would it be rude to ask the coach to sign at this moment. His decision to hug me, dispelled any doubts. The coach signed the ball, asked a few questions and then left just as confused as when he had appeared.
Thank you from Team Jokbal
A whirlwind 20 minutes were finally over. Team Jokbal will be eternally grateful for all of the efforts made by the KIA boys over the course of the season. We wish all of the team well for the post season. We know that children in Korea will definitely benefit from the time and efforts of Roger Bernadina, Hector Noesi and Pat Dean. Especially Pat! He has been the target of so much of our campaigning and he has been a great sport. We will leave you alone!
We haven't forgotten you Yong Bin Doh! Thank you so much for making this possible!
Hector Noesi Highlights
Pat Dean Highlights
Roger Bernadina Highlights
A group of guys enjoying the KBO and raising money for orphanages.