Outfits of ‘first pitchers’ cause some to blush

October 30, 2013
Shin Soo-ji rotates 360 degrees during her ceremonial first pitch in this file photo.

Shin Soo-ji rotates 360 degrees during her ceremonial first pitch in this file photo.

By Chung Hyun-chae

Professional baseball has now become a national obsession.

So much so that President Park Geun-hye made a surprise appearance Sunday to throw the first ceremonial pitch of Game 3 of the Korean Series.

Park’s appearance marks a departure from the usual cast of “first pitchers” who are predominantly young actresses and members of girls groups with embarrassingly tight, body-hugging clothing.

Some fans would blush to see silhouettes of the parts of the body that make one determine with certainty what the gender of the pitcher is.

Actress and model Clara appeared with a pair of thin, striped leggings. With one appearance, she won parts in television dramas and commercial contracts.

Tami, an actress, also became the talk of town with the first pitch, dubbed “Taekwan pitch.”

Obviously, their wardrobe is aimed at attracting the attention of people.
“No matter how provocative, it is true that entertainers could lift their image by throwing the ceremonial first pitch,” said Kim Jun-ho, head of DK Entertainment.

“Actually celebrities throwing the ceremonial first pitch increases people’s interest,” said Kim Tae-jun, official at Doosan Bears.

Actress Clara reenacts her now-famous ceremonial first pitch during an event at Konkuk University in Seoul on Oct. 18. / Yonhap

Actress Clara reenacts her now-famous ceremonial first pitch during an
event at Konkuk University in Seoul on Oct. 18. (Yonhap)

Japan and the United States offer contrasting examples.

Japan takes a similar approach as here, for instance, with Dan Mitsu, Japanese sexy entertainer, showing up in bikini for the first pitch last May.

The U.S. major league baseball (MLB) opts for a person with a story to tell.

On Sept. 30, 2011, a six-year-old boy stood on the mound of Texas Rangers’ home game. The kid’s father died as a result of falling from the fence while trying to catch the ball in the middle of the Rangers’ match. The team asked the boy to pitch in his father’s memory.

A 50-something man who was born without two arms was invited to throw the ceremonial first pitch using his feet at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox.

“We invited sports climber Kim Jain and President Park Geun-hye as the first pitchers in a bid to show more meaningful ceremonial first pitch,” said Kim Eun-min, an official at KBO, the governing body of pro baseball.

Kim said that his organization arranges for the first pitchers of the Korean Series, leaving other games of the season to respective member teams.

“Sexy stars shouldn’t be in the spotlight instead of baseball players or the game itself,” said Yang Young-rok, 22, said.

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