How a South Korean man became the folk hero of the Kansas City Royals
Mark my words: the story of Lee Sung-woo will be a movie someday. The 38-year-old South Korean man is a die-hard Kansas Royals fan and was recently flown to a Royals game where he threw out the first pitch, but that doesn't even begin to explain what makes this story so great.
Lee Sung-woo started following the Royals in the '90s when he caught a brief highlight of a Royals player hitting a home run. He immediately fell in love with the Royals and their home stadium, Kauffman Stadium. From that day on, Lee Sung-woo followed the Royals' every move from his home in South Korea.
He started posting on Royals message boards and Twitter, always showing his unabashed support for the subpar team. and he slowly became a hometown sensation. Fans and Royals players started offering to fly the avid fan to a Royals game, but Lee did not agree until this year.
His 10-day trip to Kansas City has been nothing short of magical. Lee Sung-woo was featured on SportsCenter, NPR, and The Kansas City Star; he received a resounding ovation before throwing out the first pitch at a Royals game; and he received a Royals and Kansas City Chiefs jersey, a baseball glove, and a personal tour of Kauffman Stadium and of the Royals AA affiliate team. He spoke with Missouri's Secretary of State, Jason Kander and Royals legend Frank White, not to mention all the hospitality he received from other die-hard Royals fans.
On top of all of this adulation, the Kansas Royals have been playing their best baseball in years and especially in front of Lee Sung-woo. They are currently in first place and have won eight of their last ten games. I'd like to think it was all because of Lee Sung-woo.
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