Opening Day of the 2024 MLB season is going to see the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres take the field in South Korea for a two-game Seoul Series from March 20-21. The games are going to represent a first for MLB in Korea.
“We can’t wait to play meaningful Major League games for the very first time in front of the outstanding baseball fans of South Korea next season,” Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten said in a statement.
“The Dodgers have a long and proud history of helping to grow the game abroad, highlighted by our trips to Mexico, China and Australia. It’s very exciting to add Korea to the list. I know our players are thrilled to put their talents on display in a country so rich with baseball tradition and talent, including former Dodgers Chan Ho Park, Hee-Seop Choi and Hyun-Jin Ryu.”
Chan Ho Park was the first native of Korea to play in the Majors when he made his MLB debut with the Dodgers in 1994. Along with Park, Hee-Seop Choi (2004-2005) and Hyun-Jin Ryu (2013-2019), Jae-Wong Seo (2006) is another South Korean native who played for the Dodgers.
Park (2001) and Ryu (2019) both made an All-Star Game and are two of four Korean-born players to appear in the Midsummer Classic, joining Byung-Hyun Kim (2002) and Shin-Soo Choo (2018).
The last time Opening Day of an MLB season was held outside of the United States and Canada was in 2019, when the Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners played in the Tokyo Series.
Along with the Dodgers and Padres playing internationally, MLB and the Players Association (MLBPA) also announced international series for the 2024 season in Mexico City (Houston Astros vs. Colorado Rockies, April 27-28) and the Dominican Republic (Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox, March 9-10), in addition to the previously announced London Series (New York Mets vs. Philadelphia Phillies, June 8-9).
While there is plenty of excitement with the Padres and Dodgers playing the Seoul Series, that could further increase if either of the teams were to sign Shohei Ohtani should he reach free agency.
Dodgers international history
In 2014, the Dodgers played the Arizona Diamondbacks for an Opening Series in Sydney, Australia. Their 2018 trip to Monterey for the Mexico Series produced a combined no-hitter started by Walker Buehler while he was on a pitch count.
The Dodgers otherwise have not played regular season games outside of the United States or Canada.
In 2010, they were part of exhibition games in Taiwan against the Chinese Professional Baseball League All-Stars, and the Dodgers played exhibition games against the Padres in Beijing, China, in 2008. In 2003, the Dodgers were part of exhibition games against the New York Mets in Mexico City, and they played 1988 exhibition games against the Montreal Expos in San Juan and Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
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