It was a unique start of the season for the MLB this year as it hosted the Seoul series from March 17-21. This was a two-game series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres at the Gocheok SkyDome in Seoul, making this the first-ever MLB game in Korea. The games were part of the 2024 MLB World Tour, including trips to London, Mexico City, and Santo Domingo.

Fans of the MLB may not have realized that the season has technically already begun. The Seoul Series marked the start of the season despite Opening Day taking place this Thursday, March 28. The two games began at 6:05 EST on their respective days.

There were six total games throughout the week with four of them being exhibition matches. The Dodgers scrimmaged the Kiwoom Heroes while the Padres scrimmaged the LG Twins, and both teams played against Team Korea.

The last two matches were between the two Major League teams and counted as the first official games of the 2024 season. Game 1 took place on Wednesday, March 20, and resulted in a 5-2 Dodgers victory. The second game was a high-scoring battle that saw the Padres win 15-11, giving both teams a record of 1-1 to start the year.

The stars on both teams exceeded expectations in this opening series. Dodgers OF Mookie Betts had the best performance batting 6-9 with 2 walks, 1 home run, and 7 total RBIs over the two games.

Padres third baseman and designated hitter Manny Machado was quiet throughout the series until he made a late impact in Game 2 with a monster 3-RBI home run to seal the win. Other notable players include Dodgers Catcher Will Smith and Padres 1B Jake Cronenworth. Smith went 4-6 in the second game with 2 RBIs. Cronenworth had a terrific 4-4 performance in the same game in which he recorded a triple and 4 RBIs.

One of the most exciting stories was the Dodger debut for Shohei Ohtani and the team and MLB debut for Yoshinobu Yamamoto. Both players signed tremendous contracts in the offseason that broke records and made LA clear World Series favorites.

Ohtani had a decent showing in two games, batting .300 with 2 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Yamamoto had a rough start to his career, allowing 5 runs in his first inning, and then being pulled out. It’s difficult to immediately adjust to the MLB after pitching in Japan, but it was still exciting to see Yamamoto take the mound for the first time.

This series is a representation of the MLB’s efforts to expand the game on a global scale. Baseball has a massive fanbase all over the world, making it important for the MLB to branch out and interact beyond the U.S.

The next international series will take place in Mexico City from April 27-28 between the Houston Astros and the Colorado Rockies. Fans around the globe look forward to more of these international games as the MLB continues to impact the whole world.

Previous articleLegendary Composer Stephen Schwartz Inducted Into LIMEHOF
Next articleSuffolk and Nassau County Republican Committees Endorse Donald J. Trump for President
James Haupt is The Messenger Papers' weekly Sports Reporter and Staff Writer, covering everything from local little leagues to professional sports teams. James is also a full-time college student at Villanova University majoring in Journalism.