News & Features

Dodgers pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu

RST publication shows how baseball player sparked ethnic pride

A 2018 study led by Recreation, Sport & Tourism Department associate professor Jon Welty Peachy showed how fandom for Korean-born Dodgers pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu sparked a connection between Korean Americans and Korea.

The study, entitled "Exploring ethnic identity perceptions of Hyun-Jin Ryu’s Korean American fans," and published by the journal International Review for the Sociology of Sport, was highlighted in an NBC story.

The study found that fans initially became involved because of their ethnic ties to Ryu and experienced vicarious satisfaction as the left-handed pitcher thrived in Major League Baseball.

"Consequently," the authors wrote, fans "developed Korean pride when Ryu performed well."

Welty Peachy's co-authors were RST doctoral student Na Ri Shin, now an assistant professor at Texas Tech University, and Doo Jae Park, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health.

back to news