The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres will open the 2024 MLB season by making history.
MLB announced Wednesday that the two NL West contenders will play a series in Seoul, South Korea, on March 20-21 next year, marking the first time an official MLB game will be held in one of the most baseball-loving countries in the world.
Barring a trade, the Padres will bring at least one Korean player to the Ha-seong Kim infield. The former Kiwoom Heroes star, who played in Seoul during his KBO career, currently leads the Padres in bWAR with 4.1 while hitting .258/.349/.411 with 10 homers and a team at home. header of 16 stolen bases.
The Dodgers are also one of the most popular teams in the country, with former Korean players Chan Ho Park, Hee-seop Choi and Hyun-jin Ryu boosting the team’s profile.
The Korean games are part of MLB’s “World Tour” schedule, which will see two more international series played in 2024. The Colorado Rockies and Houston Astros will face off in Mexico City on April 27-28, and the New York and the Philadelphia Phillies. will play in London on June 8 and 9.
A spring training series between the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays will also take place March 9-10 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
MLB has resumed scheduling international games this season, following a three-year hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2023 season featured playoffs in Mexico City and London, and there are no signs the league plans to slow down going forward.