The game between the Kia Tigers and SK Wyverns was held up before
the start of the seventh inning after the fan ran over to the first
base umpire Park Keun-young and put him in a headlock.
The 30-year-old was restrained by an SK coach and security guards
before being handed over to police.
Local media said he had been drinking.
The "Surprise Zone" along the first base line at the Tigers'
Champions Field, which opened earlier this year, is lower to the
ground and juts out closer to the action. It usually has no security
guards in order to give fans a better view.
A Tigers official told Reuters by telephone on Thursday the fan had
been banned for life.
"The fan will be banned from entering the stadium permanently," he
said, adding that the umpire did not want the fan punished so he
would only receive a 50,000 won ($48) fine for a misdemeanor in a
The official added that security would now be beefed up.
"We will have security guards at the Surprise Zone from now on. Our
fans don't want it but now that we have had an incident like this,
we have no choice."
Park had provoked the ire of the home crowd on Wednesday by calling
an SK runner safe at first base in the sixth inning, though
television replays suggested the throw made it in time.
A Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) official told Reuters: "The
home team should not have allowed an incident like this to happen.
"Even if the umpire had made a bad call this is not appropriate
behavior. We had incidents like this before in the 1980s when
spectators weren't as well behaved ... but I think it's the first
one in recent years."
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With a series of controversial calls in
recent games there have been growing demands for the introduction of
a video replay system, but the KBO official said that would require
time and money, and that it was trying to improve the standard of
"We are trying to come up with ways of doing that but an umpire is
not like a product. It is not like we educate them and they don't
give bad calls any more."
Major League Baseball introduced an expanded instant replay system
this season and the official said the KBO could follow suit if it
"We have to see how it works in the United States first before we
decide to do the same thing, and of course it requires a lot of
money as well."
The Tigers won Wednesday's game 6-3.
(Writing by Peter Rutherford; editing by Ian Ransom)
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