“It ain’t over till it’s over,” Yogi Berra, one of the most famous baseball players ever known, once said. Baseball is an exciting and spirited sport and you cannot relax for even a moment while watching it. It is especially one of the most popular sports in Korea. If you want to enjoy it at the University of Seoul (UOS), you can do it with the Falcons, a Central Club at UOS. The name “Falcons” comes from the Peregrine Falcon, the mascot of UOS. Let us then meet these Falcons dreaming of flight.
The players of the Falcons chanting
Who are the Falcons?
“The Falcons are a baseball club at UOS and any UOS students who like baseball can join the Falcons,” Jeon Hee-wang (School of Business Administration, ’10), the president of the Falcons said while answering the question, “who are the Falcons?” It has been seven years since the team was formed, and 30 students are currently working as either players or managers.
The Falcons are externally involved in the Amateur University Baseball League (AUBL) and in the Univ. of Seoul Baseball League (UBL) at the intramural level. The players train when they do not have a match. Many students wonder where they have their training sessions, because UOS does not allow use of the Main Stadium for baseball. Thus, they only do physical or swing training there instead. Then, how can they do another type of training? The Falcons use the Kyunghee University schoolyard, the sports fields of nearby Cheongnyangni, or the indoor practice field located at the Cheongnyang Middle School. They continuously train in order to bring out their best abilities. They also record their stats and take pictures to correct their postures after every match. Thanks to this effort, their skills are improving day by day.
The players and managers of the Falcons
The Falcons with UOS Students
If you are not a freshman, you might have seen an event held by the Falcons at school festivals. President Jeon said, “There is nothing the Falcons can do except a ball speed contest, because we have a speed gun.” Anyone who is confident of his or her pitching speed can enter this contest. In addition, the Falcons provide a small gift to the student who wins the first place.
The Falcons also have been a part of the UBL for two years. There are four baseball teams at UOS: the Falcons, the Calculators (a small club in the Dept. of Science in Taxation), EN (a small club in the School of Economics) and the Angels (a small club in the Dept. of Social Welfare). When teams participate in the UBL, expenses are self-maintained. They are now holding a second round game and will continue to the next round.
A batter of the Falcons swinging a bat
The Hunting of the Falcons
The AUBL is managed by Korean university students and composed of 2,000 students from 39 universities located in the metropolitan area. Actually, the Falcons were a weak team last year. They often won in match-ups with strong teams, but did not perform well in the AUBL. This year, however, was no ordinary year.
The Falcons replaced their leading members, and the players underwent intensive training during vacation. Most importantly, the members played baseball more passionately than before. As a result, they took a victory from Sungkyunkwan University’s team, whose rank is twenty places above the Falcons’ rank, in the opening game of the 2014 AUBL season. In addition, the Falcons kept the winning streak going by defeating Hanyang University in the next match. The AUBL is now underway, so you can follow the Falcons’ other games through their Facebook page; www.facebook.com/uos.falcons
If You are also a Dreamer of Flight
Jeon said, “Even if one is a newcomer, one can still join the Falcons.” As he said, the Falcons give players opportunities to participate in matches regardless of one’s school year. But there is only one precondition ? passion. If a newcomer has great skills, he or she can attend an AUBL match. Even if a newcomer has poor skills, he or she can also attend the UBL as long as he or she has a passionate attitude.
The first principle is meritocracy, but the second is diligence. If one player does not have strong skills but still has a passionate attitude, he or she can initially attend the match as an outfielder. If one’s skill improves, he or she can then play any position.
The players exchanging greetings before a match
Q: How can I enjoy the baseball with the Falcons?
Jeon answered, “It does not matter if you are good at baseball or not. You can play baseball with the Falcons as a player or manager. Even if you are a woman, you can still become a player. Vice versa for men or women who wish to become managers. There are many UOS students who like baseball. They, however, do not know that there is a baseball club at UOS. I am continually trying to promote the Falcons.
I think that there are many students who feel pressured to buy a uniform and baseball equipment. The Falcons endeavor to provide these commodities as inexpensively as possible. If you still cannot join the Falcons, you can receive news about our team through our Facebook page. Please keep an eye on us!”