Major League Baseball is canceling the 2022 Korea Series that had been scheduled for next month, reports Jeeho Yoo of Yonhap News (Twitter link). The league cited a contractual issue with a local promoter as the reason for the cancelation, Yoo notes.
In late August, MLB and the Players Association announced the creation of the Korea Series. The event would’ve pitted some major league players against players from the Korea Baseball Organization in a four-game exhibition, with two contests scheduled apiece in Busan and Seoul. Earlier this week, Michael Clair of MLB.com listed a number of players who’d been set to participate — including Randy Arozarena, Steven Kwan, Salvador Perez, former KBO slugger Darin Ruf and South Korea natives Ha-Seong Kim, Ji-Man Choi and Hoy Park.
MLB noted at the time of its announcement that it would be the first time players from MLB traveled to play games in Korea since 1922. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and KBO commissioner Koo-youn Heo have also previously discussed the possibility of playing some KBO games in the United States and MLB games in South Korea down the line.
There’s no indication the cancelation of the upcoming event has any bearing on longer-term plans, although it’ll still come as a notable disappointment to a number of fans inside South Korea. The event was set to kick off in just over two weeks time, with the first game scheduled for November 11.
The Korea Series had been part of a broader “World Tour” arrangement. Established as part of the most recent collective bargaining agreement, the program is set to play as many 24 regular season contests and 16 exhibition games throughout Latin America, Asia and Europe between 2022-26.