Royals superfan SungWoo Lee makes trip from South Korea, airmails first pitch (video)
Sungwoo Lee’s passion for the Kansas City Royals runs deep. So much so that he often wakes up in the middle of the night in his native South Korea in order to take in the team’s ballgames. And he’s been doing it since he chose the Royals as his team to follow 20 years ago.
He’s become such a celebrity among Royals fans that his Twitter account has amassed over 11,000 followers. He’s even attracted the attention of the organization with his devout dedication to the team, as the Royals flew him in all the way from South Korea to KC last week so he could take in a few games, tour the facilities of Northwest Arkansas Naturals, the Royals’ Class AA affiliate and a private tour of Kauffman Stadium.
Lee’s arrival in Kansas City was greeted with great fanfare.
All along the way he’s been treated like “Royalsty,” receiving gifts and the adulation of his fellow Royals backers. Fans even have been lining up to take photographs with him.
“I didn’t expect this kind of media attention or the (acknowledgement) from the whole Kansas City people,” Lee told The Kansas City Star.
“I’ve really enjoyed every moment, every second of it.”
The first class treatment during a trip of a lifetime culminated in Lee being chosen to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Royals hosted the Oakland Athletics on Monday night.
And wouldn’t you know it? Whether it was jet lag, nerves, over-excitement or some combination of all of them, Lee’s magic moment on the mound at Kauffman resulted in him airmailing his first pitch far above the outstretched glove of the Royals mascot.
Hey, everything can’t go perfectly. And it looks like Lee had a good time nevertheless. How about how he checked the imaginary runner at first base before his high and wide pitch? His head was in the game, even if there really wasn’t a real game going on.
Lee even got to meet Royals royalty, George Brett, who gave Lee a “special coin.”
And the best part? Lee is something of a good luck charm for KC, as the Royals have won five straight games since his arrival, part of torrid eight-game winning streak.
Perhaps Lee should stick around until September. Odds are the Royals and the team’s players would be willing to foot the bill for his lodging and whatnot.