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Seoul American's Jeremy Christopher picks himself up after diving back to first base during a friendship game against Sungsim School for the Deaf on Thursday at Yongsan Garrison, South Korea.

Seoul American's Jeremy Christopher picks himself up after diving back to first base during a friendship game against Sungsim School for the Deaf on Thursday at Yongsan Garrison, South Korea. (T.D. Flack / S&S)

YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — Seoul American High School baseball players and their peers from the Sungsim School for the Deaf took to the ballpark at Yongsan Wednesday in a “friendship game.”

Organizers said they wanted Seoul American High School to participate in U.S. Forces Korea’s “Good Neighbor” program, launched in 2003 to foster good relations with local communities.

“It’s been a really good experience,” said SAHS principal Kathleen Barbee. “A lot of people are trying to be good neighbors.”

Sungsim’s vice principal, Cho Ii-yeon, said his team was really excited about their first visit to Yongsan.

“It gives my boys more of a chance to be together with American friends,” Cho said.

The teams put on a good show for the crowd; even U.S. Forces Korea Commander Gen. Leon LaPorte was among spectators for a few innings.

Boe Roberts, SAHS coach, called Sungsim one of the “toughest teams we’ve played this year.”

Seoul American won the game 4-3.

Sungsim’s players communicated via sign language, something SAHS senior Tommy Rozzi said was tough to get used to. He said the last South Korean team he played against chattered constantly while playing.

“It’s a little different,” he said. “I’m sure they’re going to give us good competition.”

SAHS athletic director Don Hedgpath, who helped plan the game, said it was “our little way” to participate in the Good Neighbor program.

But, he added, “We need the competition.”


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