Friday, July 5, 2013

St. Louis Cardinals Play in Korea 1958

In October of 1958 the St. Louis Cardinals came to Korea at the invitation of the Hanguk Ilbo newspaper (한국일보) and played a Korean team referred to as the Seoul All-Stars (全서울) or Korean All-Stars. This friendly match was also sponsored by the Korean Amateur Baseball Association and the game was played on Tuesday, October 21, 1958 at 3:38 p.m. at Seoul Stadium. Tickets were sold for 2,000, 1,000, 500 or 300 hwan (Korean currency at the time), and according to the Korea Times a total of 1,500 reserved seats were made available for U.S. military personnel. More than 30,000 spectators turned out for the game, including the then-Korean president Rhee, Syng-Man, who threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Stan Musial was the most famous player on the Cardinals that made the trip to Asia and Korea. The Cardinals played many games in Asia during this trip, most of which were played in Japan. Other notables that came with Stan the Man included, Wally Moon, Don Blasingame and Ruben Amaro (father of the current Philadelphia Phillies GM). Those very familiar with Japanese baseball and NPB history should also recognize some of the names on the Cardinals team.

Starting Pitchers
Korean All-Stars - Kim, Yang-chon (김양중)
Cardinals - Jim Brosnan (부리스난)

The Cards got off to a fast start with three straight hits. The first two were singles by Grammas and Tate, and then a run-scoring double by Musial that brought Grammas home. However, despite this hot start, they were only able to manage two hits over the next five innings. It was not until the eigth inning that the Cards got on the board again, with one run on two hits. They scored one more run in the ninth, for a total of three runs.

For the Korean team, they had to wait until the third inning for their first hit, when Kim, Hi-yong started off the inning with a single off Brosnan. The Korean team was unable to capitalize though, with the next batter flying out and Hur, Chon-kyu grounding into an inning ending 4-6-3 double play. Again in the fourth inning, the Korean team starts the inning with a leadoff single, only to see their hopes fade immediately when the next batter grounds into another double play. The Korean team managed just one more hit in the sixth inning, and these three singles accounted for the extent of their offensive output.

There were no home runs or triples in the game. The Korean All-Stars struck out seven times and the Cardinals four times.

Despite the close score, it was reported in a Korean newspaper (경향신문) that the Cardinals dominated the game. However, the Korean team exceeded both their own and the major leaguers' expectations.

The English language newspaper was much more praiseworthy in their reporting on the Korean team, especially pitcher Kim. The article says, "The Koreans played an excellent game, with pitcher Kim making a great showing." Even the umpire, Edward Sudol from the National League, had positive words for the Korean team's starting pitcher. He said, "Pitcher Kim controlled the ball excellently and has a lot of confidence." Cards player/manager Solley Hemus also had very complimentary words for Kim and the Korean team. He said, "... the Korean pitcher threw a fast and good curve ball. The game was a very fine one and the Koreans played a good game, far better than they [the Cardinals] had expected...". All in all, the Korean team held their own against a big league club from the US.

Line Score

St. Louis


General Manager - Bing Devine
Coaches - Harry Walker, Johnny Keane
Manager - Solly Hemus

Pitchers - 27 - Bob Blaylock, 37 - Jim Brosnan, 39 - Larry Jackson, 23 - Sam Jones, 38 - Wilmer "Vinegar Bend" Mizell, 31 - Ernie Broglio, 25 - Phil Paine, 29 - Bill Wight
Catchers - Harold "Hal" R. Smith, Hobart "Hobie" N. Landrith, Ray Katt
Infielders - 3 - Don Blasingame, 10 - Alex Grammas, 14 - Ken Boyer, 36 - Lee Tate, 28 - Joe Cunningham, 19 - Ruben Amaro, 2 - Benny Valenzuela, 4 - Solly Hemus
Outfielders - 6 - Stan Musial, 12 - Gene Green (C.), 15 - Bobby Gene Smith, 20 - Wally Moon

Korean Team
단장 (general manager) - 1 - 선우인서 (Sunwoo, Inso)
감독 (manager) - 5 - 오윤환 (Oh, Yon-Whan)
주장 (captain) - 한태동 (Han, Tae-Dung)

선수 (players):
7 - 한태동 (Han, Tae-Dong, P.), 8 - 박현식 (Park, Hyun-shik, LF.), 9 - 서동준 (Sur, Dong-Joon P.), 10 - 배용섭 (Bae, Yong-Sop, P.), 12 - 구상문 (Koo, Sang-Mun, P.), 13 - 곽상령 (Kwak, Sang-yong, P.), 15 - 김영조 (Kim, Yong-Cho, C.), 17 - 허호준 (Hur, Ho-Jon, C.), 18 - 정병섭 (Chung, Byong-Sop, C.), 19 - 김정환 (Kim, Chung-whan, 1B), 20 - 김용구 (Kim, Yong-kwo, IF.), 22 - 이기역 (Lee, Kye-Yok, IF.), 24 - 성기영 (Seoung, Ki-yung, 2B), 25 - 김희? (Kim, Hi-Yon, 3B.), 27 - 박하성 (Park, Ha-Song, IF.), 28 - 김진영 (Kim, Chin-yong, SS.), 30 - 배동원 (Bae, Tung-Won, IF.), 32 - 김양중 (Kim, Yang-chung, P.), 33 - 장태영 (Chang, Tae-yong, CF.), 34 - 허정규 (Hur, Jung-kyu, RF.), 35 - 진원주 (Chin, Won-Chu, OF.), 36 - 정두영 (Chung, Doo-Yong, OF.)

The Korean team was made up of players selected from the baseball teams of the Army (陸軍), Navy (海軍), Air Force (空軍) and the Korea Fowarding Company (韓運). It was also reported that players came from the National Baseball Championship league.

Umpire Crew
Edward Sadol - Plate Umpire
조점룡 (趙点龍)- First Base
박점도 (朴点道) - Second Base
이신덕 (李辛德) - Third Base

Regarding the players for each team, there were some discrepancies between the English language sources and the Korean sources. Additionally, there were also discrepancies between some of the articles from the Korea Times and the score cards. I used Korean language sources for all the Korean names, except in the case of Kim, Hi-Yon, as the original Korean source was missing the second part of his given name. In this case I used the original scorecard information, but I also found Hi-ryon and Hi-yong as alternate spellings in other sources. For the romanization of the Korean names I used the official scorecard (which personally I don't like and if you can read Korean, will notice is not very accurate, although neither was the Korea Times). I followed the Korean standard of family name, given name for all Korean names in both Korean and English.

I really hope everyone enjoys the post and as always, if you have any questions or additional information, feel free to leave it in the comments section.

I would like to thank Thomas St. John for kindly letting me use his scorecards from the game and the lineup card seen in this post. I would also like to thank Michael Westbay and Robert Fitts for their help, and Matt VanV for help with the Korea Times research.


  1. Thank you for this. I used this info and linked it to a Facebook post of mine. I was trying to draw some connection with US baseball and my primarily KPOP blog. So I connected my nephews favorite team the MINN TWINS and Korea? well in 1987 the twins beat the Cardinals in the World Series...and there you go. Although it happened in 1958, it was very interesting to read.

    1. Thanks. I'm glad you found it helpful and interesting. Good luck with your blog.