Kansas City Roots for South Korean Superfan Mojo to Boost Royals in Playoffs

Fans are hoping SungWoo Lee will watch the post-season games live.

BySUSANNA KIM
October 03, 2014, 3:20 PM
PHOTO: Kansas City Royals fan Sungwoo Lee of Korea shows of a signed baseball prior to the game against the Oakland Athletics at Kauffman Stadium, Aug. 11, 2014, in Kansas City, Mo.
SungWoo Lee, a Kansas City Royals superfan in South Korea, will be returning to the U.S. to watch the World Series in person.
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

— -- One of the most die-hard fans of the Kansas City Royals will be watching the American League Division Series games this week from afar, and for good reason. SungWoo Lee, 38, lives in South Korea.

You may have heard about Lee this summer, after his first visit to the United States and his first live Royals game. Lee, quite possibly the unlikeliest of Royals superfans, has been touted as a "good luck charm" for the team, which hasn't won a World Series since 1985.

PHOTO: Sungwoo Lee, a South Korean Kansas City Royals fan gets the opportunity to throw out the first pitch before the MLB game between the Oakland Athletics and the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Aug. 11, 2014.
Sungwoo Lee, a South Korean Kansas City Royals fan gets the opportunity to throw out the first pitch before the MLB game between the Oakland Athletics and the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Aug. 11, 2014.
Cal Sport Media/AP Photo

"How can I convince you that the greatest story for Royals fans in 29 years is unfolding before our eyes, and its protagonist lives a hemisphere away, speaks imperfect (but diligent) English, and had never set foot at Kauffman Stadium until this past Thursday?" baseball columnist and dermatologist Dr. Rany Jazayerli wrote on his blog in August.

Once the Royals caught wind of Lee after hard-core fans noticed Lee's optimism and devotion online -- including a Twitter account that now boasts more than 17,000 followers -- they even invited Lee to the field to throw the first pitch in August. During Lee's stateside visit, the Royals won nine out of 10 games and the team recaptured first place in its division.

PHOTO: Longtime Kansas City Royals fan Sung Woo Lee, from South Korea, celebrates with Royals mascot Sluggerrr after throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics, Aug. 11, 2014, in Kansas City, Mo.
Longtime Kansas City Royals fan Sung Woo Lee, from South Korea, celebrates with Royals mascot Sluggerrr after throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics, Aug. 11, 2014, in Kansas City, Mo.
Charlie Riedel/AP Photo

Chris Kamler, who first invited Lee to Missouri, said the unlikely fan started a new job last month, which means he doesn't necessarily have the vacation time to return to Kansas City. But, not surprisingly, Lee has been closely following the game, as shown by his many Twitter posts.

"We talked with him last Friday night when we clinched a playoff appearance and we were all in tears. He was on local radio the other day and said he feels 'homesick,' which is a huge credit to how much we all love him here and he loves Kansas City," said Kamler, an IT project manager, long-time Royals fan and proprietor of @TheFakeNed account on Twitter.

PHOTO: Kansas City Royals fan Sungwoo Lee of Korea shows of a signed baseball prior to the game against the Oakland Athletics at Kauffman Stadium, Aug. 11, 2014 in Kansas City, Mo.
Kansas City Royals fan Sungwoo Lee of Korea shows of a signed baseball while sitting in the dugout prior to the game against the Oakland Athletics at Kauffman Stadium, Aug. 11, 2014 in Kansas City, Mo.
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

On Thursday night, Lee appeared on the Korean MBC television "Baseball Tonight." He previously had appeared on the show after his trip in August, showing off his souvenirs and sharing stories about his trip. But last night, Lee was invited back as an analyst to recap the ALDS game.

Kamler said Lee had told him before his broadcast that he was very excited but nervous about his on-camera appearance.

Could Lee return to Kansas City to watch more games, especially if the team makes the World Series? After all, Kamler said Lee's father, who was in the hospital during the big visit, is feeling better.

PHOTO: Kansas City Royals fan Sungwoo Lee, from South Korea, hugs Royals pitcher Danny Duffy after meeting before the team's game against the Oakland Athletics, Aug. 11, 2014, at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.
Kansas City Royals fan Sungwoo Lee, from South Korea, hugs Royals pitcher Danny Duffy after meeting before the team's game against the Oakland Athletics, Aug. 11, 2014, at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.
John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/MCT via Getty Images

"I think his plans to come back to the States are unlikely because of his job, but if they made the World Series, there might be people throwing money at him to come back," Kamler told ABC News. "But for now, I know he's really enjoying every pitch from home."

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