The last weekend for Team Jokbal was a great one as we took to Jamsil Stadium early in the morning to catch some players about collecting items for the charity auction. We had previously spoken to Henry Sosa (LG Twins) about picking up a few items and we had also arranged to meet Michael Bowden (Doosan Bears) once again to pick up a few items.
While waiting at the stadium, we were able to catch Henry and he went in and grabbed some things for us from the locker room. Shortly after, we were able to catch up with David Huff (LG Twins) and have a short chat with him about what we are working to do, which is to collect signed player-used gear that will be auctioned off in December with the proceeds going to kids in orphanages and less fortunate areas in Korea. Without hesitation and with the same kindness we have gotten from all players thus far, Dave said that he was in and would be happy to give us some items for the auction.
Over the next few days, we were able to get in touch with Dave once again and he let us know that he would leave a box of things with security so that we could pick it up on Wednesday night. After work on Wednesday, we were able to swing by Jamsil to grab the box and catch a Lotte vs. Doosan game. We picked up the box after a little confusion by the staff. I guess it could be confusing since it was a Lotte vs. Doosan game and there were 2 guys there, wearing Doosan jerseys, asking to pick up a box from David Huff of the LG Twins. I guess the funniest part came just before the security guard went to get the box. He looked at me strangely and said, "You're Huff's friend? Did he leave you tickets?" A few seconds later he returned with the box and we headed over to put it in the car.
We didn't really take a look in the box until we returned home that night and what we found was amazing. He had hooked us up with a home and away signed jersey, a signed icing shirt, and a nice body length LG jacket. They are some really great items and we a confident that they will help raise a lot for charity.
In closing, there is little more to be said about Dave other than he is a great and welcoming guy that's a great pitcher and ambassador for his team and the KBO. He really cares about the community and the sport and that can easily be seen from his contribution.
Team Jokbal had another big day out, Saturday, August 26. Over the past weekend, Team Jokal was finally able to meet up with a few of the great guys playing for the LG Twins! After a bit of communication with Henry Sosa, and an early morning by George and Tony, we were able to meet up with him outside Jamsil Stadium before Saturday's game with the Doosan Bears. Sporting our Doosan regalia (sorry Henry) we were able to talk about our mission with him. Henry, being a great guy, immediately jumped in to help, coming back to us not 20 minutes later with some great items we will be excited to show off and sell for the kids come December
Henry Sosa, born in the Dominican Republic, was originally signed as a free agent to the San Francisco Giants in 2004, but made his MLB debut with the Houston Astros in 2011, playing for them until he made is journey to the KBO in 2012. This will be Henry Sosa's fifth year playing in the KBO, previously playing for both the Kia Tigers and the Nexen Heroes respectively.
We were able to attain from Henry, two Twins player warm-ups, one autographed and belonging to Sosa himself and the other from Korean outfielder 채은성 (Chea Eun-Sung). But the the most exciting item has to be a Sosa autographed LG Twins jacket (see below)! It was wonderful meeting with Henry over the weekend. Team Jokbal thanks him for his contribution, he is not only a great player, but a class act man as well
However, a Jokballers job is never done! Later that day we were also able to meet up with Sosa's teammate, fellow LG pitcher David Huff! Although we were unable to procure a contribution that day, we are confident David will come through for us, judging by his openness and excitement for the cause. We look forward to meeting up with Huff at a later date.
But wait there is more! The one and only Micheal Bowden came through for us once again. For a quick recap, Micheal was our very first contributor and we are so grateful to him for all his help. (See George's previous post on Micheal for more). This time, Micheal was able to come through big for us with an almost full Doosan Bears roster (which includes every starter) signed print of Jamsil Stadium painted by friend of Team Jokbal Andy Brown. Andy has done some other great work including more baseball stadiums around Korea. Check him out at andybrownisanartist.com.
The rest of the team and I had a great and fruitful weekend, it is a pleasure meeting such open and great players all willing to help out. But above all, it is just nice to give back to those less fortunate and help out a community whom would otherwise never be able to experience the great sport of baseball. 팀족발 화이팅!
Team Jokbal was fortunate enough to be able to go to the Doosan Bears vs. KT Wiz game last night (July 5, 2017) and catch up with Michael Bowden for a few minutes before the start of the game. I was meeting him to get him to sign the jersey that he had previously given to us for the auction and to get a Jamsil Stadium print signed by some players for the auction. To my surprise, he came out to meet me with a signed Dustin Nippert jersey. He let me know that Dustin was more than happy to help out by contributing.
Dustin is well known within the community for helping out kids and he even provides tickets to groups of kids to come to the games once a month. A truly great and generous guy that does all that he can to help the community and the kids.
In addition to getting the signed Nippert jersey, I was able to talk a little more with him about what Team Jokbal is working to do and get him to sign his jersey. I was also able to get the print of Jamsil Stadium, done by my friend Andy, into his hands to get some players to sign it. I will be picking the print up from him at a later date. Once it is signed, I will also be posting about it.
Players like Dustin and Michael are the reason that we can do what we are doing and we are honored to be able to work with such great guys! Thanks guys!
Check back often for more updates from Team Jokbal.
It was another great weekend for the Team Jokbal crew at Jamsil Stadium. We went to the Friday night game between the LG Twins and KIA Tigers, but unfortunately we were not able to meet or talk with any of the players that night because of our late arrival. However, on Saturday we made our way over to the stadium earlier in the day to start our Jokbal campaign by handing out some of our mission statements to players and it was a great success. We managed to get our mission statements into the hands of about 10 or 15 players that morning. We greeted them and gave them papers and they proceeded on their way toward the entrance while they read them.
However, the highlight of the day was getting a chance to speak with Henry Sosa for a few minutes upon his arrival to the stadium. We saw Sosa walking toward the player entrance with a couple of his friends and headed over toward him. Korean fans were also headed over toward him for autographs and photos so we just stood back while he signed and took photos with them. As soon as he was finished he headed over to have a chat with us and I must say it was great meeting him that day and he's a truly awesome guy! We gave him a paper and told him that we were working to collect jerseys and such from players to place in the kids charity auction at the end of the year and without hesitation he said that he would love to help us out and get some things for us. He also asked us if we needed help with getting tickets or anything that day, but we already had plans for that evening and were going to be unavailable for the game so he told us to just get in touch with him when we would be around and he would get some things for us.
Even though we were unable to see the game that day, it was a very successful day and we got to meet another great guy, Henry Sosa. The guys of the KBO, such as Sosa, are absolutely wonderful and it's great to be able to work with them. Without them helping us out, we would be unable to help raise money for the kids. Sosa and these other players are the true MVPs and we would like to send out a big THANK YOU to all of them!
As always, continue to check back often and we will keep everyone updated on what's going on with the Team Jokbal crew.
Just last weekend and by chance, Team Jokbal got a chance to catch up with Jeff Manship in person (first player we didn't reach via social media) at the Doosan vs. NC game at Jamsil. He was out making some passes along the warning track when he heard a bit of English up in the stands and stopped off to have a chat.
We talked a bit about where we are all from, our jobs, family, and our time in Korea. He tossed a ball up to us and we chatted a little more and he carried on with his run. A few minutes later he came back through and by that time we had our Team Jokbal signs out and proudly displayed and he stopped to ask us about what they meant. I was able to go down and give him a printed copy of our mission and he said it sounded great and he had worked with some other groups in the US before so he would be happy to help out and spread the word.
On his final pass he stopped off to mention it to Eric Hacker and when he came back by a fellow Jokbal'er headed down to get him to sign the ball that he had tossed up so that we could put it in with the auction items. He let him know that that Eric was cool with the deal and that they would try to get some things together from their clubhouse in Masan. He also said that he would chat with Xavier Scruggs about it when he was around him next time.
It was really great getting a chance to talk with him and even better having him offer to help us out with some donations. For this, we at Team Jokbal would like to say, thank you very much for your kindness Mr. Manship. Guys like you, Mr. Hacker, and Mr. Scruggs are top notch and we couldn't do this without all of you! We wish all of you nothing but the best in this season and seasons to come and we are looking forward to catching up with you in Masan this weekend.
This post should pretty much get everything caught up with how things are progressing with player contributions. We will also keep people updated as items come in and with other news as it comes along.
If you missed it, here is a link to our first post about what Team Jokbal is working to do.
There are some fans out there that see some weird looking foreigners holding up signs with Team Jokbal (팀족발) written on them or walking around wearing jerseys that have things such as 두산족발 (Doosan Jokbal), 기아족발 (KIA Jokbal), KT족발 (KT Jokbal), and 팀족발 (Team Jokbal) written on them. There is also one that wears colorful wigs to the games, primarily green ones. Sorry, that was a bit of a shout out to me as the green wig wearer.
There are a lot of laughs, smiles, and stares and it's honestly a great thing. It is serving the purpose of making people happy and providing a bit of quirky amusement at games. It's not that KBO games really need to be any more exciting or fun because they are already great, but at least we are doing our part to bring a little more joy to the stands.
Now comes a question that many are probably wondering. Where does the idea of Team Jokbal actually come from? Last year there was a bit of a joke going around within our group about what some of the KBO players might eat after a game to celebrate a big win or a well played game. For some reason we could just imagine players sitting around a table scarfing down big platters of jokbal (pig's feet) and having a few glasses of beer or soju. Why jokbal? To be honest, the better question is why not jokbal? It's a great Korean dish that seems to be highly underrated among foreigners and it's simply delicious.
As a result we decided it would be amusing to get custom jerseys made with jokbal written on the backs. After all, getting custom jerseys done in Korea is pretty easy and very common among the fans. You will see everything from couples wearing jerseys that highlight their relationship status to others wearing custom jerseys that pay homage to their favorite players.
Now on to the most important question about Team Jokbal and the driving factor behind its existence. Does Team Jokbal serve any purpose other than being fun? What most don't know, beyond the comical factor, is that it also serves another purpose. After a friend and fellow Team Jokbal member came across an article about Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos giving away a shirt in exchange for a tray of pork, we thought that we could probably swing something in similar fashion in Korea with jokbal and the KBO. The result has been us offering to give players a plate of Jokbal in exchange for game used jerseys, hats, bats, helmets, etc.
You may now be wondering "what will Team Jokbal be doing with these items that they collect?" While we are fans and collectors that would love to keep these items to add to our personal sports collections, we decided that we could use these items to bring even more joy and fun to others. This lead us to deciding to offer these items for auction in the winter at a fan charity auction and use the proceeds to purchase sports equipment for students in poor areas and orphanages around South Korea.
In the short time since deciding to pursue this cause, we have managed to make some connections with some players (Michael Bowden, Pat Dean, and Jeff Manship) that have already donated or will donate and they have also started spreading the message to other players. The KBO is full of a bunch of great guys and I am happy that we are getting to work with some of them to get equipment for kids because we have seen and experienced the joy and benefits that sports can bring to young people. Hopefully with continued work and contributions we can help fill a void by purchasing and donating equipment so that kids get a chance to play a game of catch or hit their first home run. Who knows? They may be future KBOers themselves. At the very least it will provide some healthy fun and memories for them.
Check back often as we will begin to post some of the stories and items here in the future. Thanks for reading and the support!
A group of guys enjoying the KBO and raising money for orphanages.