Korean Baseball Fan Throws Ceremonial Pitch at MLB Game

Lee Sung-woo, a businessman from Korea, threw the ceremonial pitch at a Major League Baseball match between the Kansas City Royals and Oakland Athletics at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri on Monday. Although he is not a celebrity, Lee got a boisterous welcome from the crowd.

Lee has been a fan of the Kansas City Royals for the past two decades. In 1995, he happened to watch the club's match on AFKN and became a huge fan.

"The beautiful K caught my eye," he said, in an interview with MLB.com. The last time the Royals advanced to the post season was way back in 1986, but his support has been unwavering.

Lee Sung-woo poses with the Kansas City Royals mascot after throwing the ceremonial pitch at a match against the Oakland Athletics at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City on Monday. /AP-Newsis Lee Sung-woo poses with the Kansas City Royal's mascot after throwing the ceremonial pitch at a match against the Oakland Athletics at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City on Monday. /AP-Newsis

Lee's ardent love for the Royals was made widely known among the club's fans through social networking sites and they invited him to the U.S. All costs of Lee's visit to the U.S. were reportedly covered by the fans there.

Lee got VIP treatment throughout his stay, visiting not only the Kauffman Stadium but also the club's minor league stadium. He also met the Royals' legendary player George Brett and took a photo with him.

As luck would have it, the Royals continued their winning streak after Lee's arrival. On Tuesday, they beat the Detroit Tigers to lead the American League Central Division with 64 wins. Lee joined the ceremony after the victory.

"I can't believe I'm here with all the players… it's surreal," Lee said. Asked about his favorite moment in the U.S., he replied, "The Royals keep winning." He will come back to Korea on Friday.

englishnews@chosun.com / Aug. 13, 2014 09:19 KST