Royals super fan SungWoo Lee will be back for the World Series


You’ll recall the story of SungWoo Lee, the Royals super fan from South Korea. Short version: He just randomly declared himself a Royals fan 20 years ago because he likes to root for an underdog and because he thought Kauffman Stadium looked beautiful. He would watch their broadcasts to improve his English skills. His fame as a fan grew on Royals blogs and message boards over the years.

Back in August, Lee was invited to Kansas City and he had the time of his life. And it coincided with a Royals winning streak. Rany Jazayerli wrote it all up at the time. It’s quite a great story.

Now Lee is coming back for the World Series:

SungWoo Lee, the South Korean salaryman whose ardent support for Major League Baseball’s Kansas City Royals has made him a cause celebre in recent months, has gotten permission from his bosses to take time off from work and attend the World Series.

Mr. Lee will fly to the U.S. early this week to cheer on his beloved Royals as they face the San Francisco Giants in Game 1 on Tuesday evening at Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium.

As the story in the Wall Street Journal notes, it was not an easy task getting him here. He just started a new job, it’s crunch time for his employer and you can’t simply tell your boss in Korea that you’re taking time off for some international sports-related travel under such circumstances. Heck, try doing that here at a new job. “Um, sir? There’s a cricket match going on in Pakistan I’d like to go see. It’s important over there and I’m, well, sorta famous on the Internet in that community. Can I take the time off?” You’d be lucky not to get your butt kicked to the curb instantly.

But it’s working out for Lee. His boss is letting him go, and you have to figure there will be a ton of shots of him in the crowd starting tomorrow night.