K-Drama Premiere: “Stove League” Pitches An Extraordinary Hero Keen To Make A Change For A Failing Baseball Club

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Revamping a baseball team to gain elusive glory spins the initial picture of Stove League.

Right off the bat, Nam Goong Min donned his prominence in creating another drama hero for Stove League. Aiming for a sweet year-end strike, SBS hits a promising drama that probes in the world of a baseball club in the cusp of being disbanded.

Stove League

Premiere Week Rating:

Presented in a big cast perspective, the SBS sports themed drama scored impressive nationwide viewership ratings according to Nielsen. It notched 3.3, 5.5, 5.5 and 7.8 percentages on its four back-to-back episodes.

Stove League

Premiere Week Recap

Consistently on a losing track, baseball club Dreams eventually hit an expected futile outcome. To make the matter worse, coaches are separated in factions, players are in a disarray and hope seems not in the horizon.

Enter Baek Seung Soo (Nam Goong Min), the new Dreams General Manager scouted by the club’s owner. His experience in managing less popular sports club is not highly-regarded by Dream’s operation’s staff, coaches and players. Even with his illustrious championship records, those were not enough to impress the organized staff of a baseball club.

Hence, when he made a brave move of trading the team’s star player, everyone questioned his judgment. On the front row in trying to dissuade his intention is the very person he is trying to evict – Dream’s ace player Im Dong Kyu. In response, Dong Kyu coldly harrassed and ordered his minions to assault Seung Soo.

It leads to Lee Se Young (Park Eun Bin), Dreams’ Operations Manager, to pay a visit to a hospital where Seung Soo received medical treatment. She also learns of the retaliations received by the new manager.

Stove League

Legendary Trade

Amidst all underhanded moves Dong Kyu threw to threaten Seung Soo, his card to raise sympathy using media caused an uproar from fans. Thereby, creating an office phone call chaos resulting for the employees to demand answers to Seung Soo’s decision.

Responding to the raging office staff, Seung Soo presents the numbers and reasons validating how Dong Kyu’s trade makes sense. He seals it with an announcement that the current ace player will be traded to veteran pitcher and league’s ace player Hong Ki Joon, who left the team because of a rift with Dong Kyu.

Premiere Week Afterthoughts

Taking a slow burning effect, Stove League,   although brimming with conversation scenes, was efficient to depict a spirited story of how a baseball club will try to find their purpose as a team.

Its main leads Nam Goong Min and Park Eun Bin are displayed with an intention to delve on their characters’ stories. The same thing can be said to its big supporting cast. That being said, I  am expecting ruminative moments to be pictured while making use of the baseball world as its setting.

Hailed for his seamless portrayals, Nam Goong Min is that one actor whom I really admire for always delivering his best to the roles he portrayed. In fact, underdog stories has become his turf through the years.

Calling the attention on how baseball has been overshadowing other less popular sports, left me on a mission of learning more about its culture. In my history of watching Korean dramas and films, I reckoned a lot of baseball-themed works proving its massive following.

For its premiere week, I love the scene when Park Eun Bin’s character met up with the formal General Manager. Knowing that the changes to ensue will not guarantee a miraculous jump from their cellar position in the upcoming season, he said to strive not to be defeated with the same reasons.

That was such a moving moment alluding to how failures might be inevitable, but at least we should not end on a bad side because of the same wrong decisions.

Perfect to cap off a tiring night for career people, Stove League might thread on the harsh realities of life. Nevertheless, it seems to shower with encouraging life lessons.

Stove League airs on SBS every Wednesday and Thursday. Fans can watch it on VIU.