Kansas City Royals fans, as well as fans of most any baseball team, will tell you that social media has changed the way the game is observed. The internet as a whole has allowed fans to follow the team of their choice more closely than ever before. Social media has allowed fans from all over the world to connect.
Nowhere is that fact more prevalent this week than in Kansas City. Through the platform provided by Twitter, fans of the Royals have connected with a young man from Seoul, South Korea. Over the last few years, Sung Woo Lee has shared his love of the Kansas City baseball team with anyone and everyone talking about the team on Twitter. He has connected with fans, writers and many more since 2011 when he signed up for an account on the site.
Lee watches as many Royals games as he can, despite the challenge that the 14-hour time difference creates. He is passionate and a firm believer that the team will eventually reward him with winning seasons and playoff appearances. He was the epitome of a long-distance fan, having never seen the team or the city in person.
After many years of following the team, Lee was finally able to make the trip to Kansas City. Once it was decided that his trip would become reality, it was time for social media to step back in and make it the trip of his dreams.
People from all over Kansas City took to Twitter with the hashtag #SungWootoKC and began planning ways to make his trip memorable. Chris Kamler, known in the Royals community as the man behind the @TheFakeNed account on Twitter, took to the website Pine Tar Press to help organize Lee's visit.
Complete with a welcoming committee, a visit to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum with president Bob Kendrick, sightseeing in Kansas City and a road trip to the Royals Double-A affiliate in Arkansas, the itinerary is quite full. Most impressively, it is fans and Twitter followers that are coming together to make sure that Lee has a vacation he will never forget.
Lee is scheduled to attend numerous Royals games while he is in town, all courtesy of Danny Parkins at 610 Sports. He will take a private tour of Kansas City's Boulevard Brewery. He will even attend the Kansas City Chiefs preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals. To top it all off, on Monday, August 11, Lee will throw out the first pitch as the Royals take on the Oakland A's.
It is all a dream come true for a Royals fan from 6,500 miles away. It all goes to show the power of social media and the human spirit.
Ultimately, it is all because of baseball.