DAEGU, South Korea – If you were willing to stay up a little late on Tuesday morning, you got a chance to watch some live baseball.
The KBO’s Opening Day went on as scheduled amid the COVID-19 pandemic in South Korea, where the number of infections went down enough to allow games to be played without crowds. ESPN televised the game between the host Samsung Lions and NC Dinos from Daegu, giving baseball fans a live game this May for the first time.
Both Cubs and White Sox rooters tuned into for the broadcast, and when those south side fans did, they saw a player that was once on their team.
Former infielder Tyler Saladino was in the lineup for the Lions and had the first hit of the season for his team on a single to left field. He’d also get a walk on the afternoon as he starts the next chapter of his career in the KBO.
A 2010 seventh round draft pick of the team, Saladino played for the White Sox from 2015-2018, appearing in 264 games. He had a slash line of .231/.281/.330 with 12 homers and 68 RBI as he split time between Chicago and Triple-A Charlotte.
Saladino was traded to the Brewers early in the 2018 season and played in 80 games for the club the next two years before not being tendered an offer in December of 2019.
Before the end of the year, Saladino signed with the Lions, and is now beginning his 2020 season before he would have had the infielder stayed in America.