Former Apex baseball star back from Korean baseball experience and eyeing the majors

APEX, N.C. -- Former Apex High School star Seth Frankoff is back stateside now and hoping to break back into the majors with the San Diego Padres.

"Just staying hot, staying ready for when we get that call and kind of get back. Go and get after it again," Frankoff said.

The previous two years though, he called the KBO home, suiting up for the Seoul-based Doosan Bears. It's an experience he won't ever forget.

"The fans are at our hotels. They're following you everywhere, giving you little gifts," Frankoff said. "The big thing there is they give you coffee because people are crazy about coffee there. Baseball is their passion."

These current KBO games are being played without fans. It's their fervor though that Frankoff said sets Korean baseball apart.

"They are like the Duke cheer section if that makes sense. Every single hitter has their own song and their own chants" Frankoff told ABC11. "It doesn't matter if you're up 17-1 or losing 17-1, You really don't know the difference because the fans are still getting after it with their singing and their dancing and their drinking for that matter."

There are also the internet-famous bat flips.

"It's a form of gamesmanship for them. Obviously, they have some extravagant bat flips that's part of it," he said. "It's just your goal as a pitcher to not tee one up for them to do it to you."

Frankoff made the best of the opportunity, even learning to read Korean characters. As a 6-foot-5 American, he didn't exactly blend in, but he tried.

"When they see the effort of you going in there and being able to read and write their language, and trying to learn some of their phrases, they really like it," he said. "That means that you're taking ownership of the situation and they appreciate that."

Frankoff is happy to see the KBO getting love now. He said it is great baseball but not Major League Baseball, and fans should just appreciate the difference.

"These guys are getting an opportunity to put their game on the slate for the world to see," Frankoff said. "It's a lot of fun to watch from a distance."

Like any North Carolinian, Frankoff has an appreciation for barbecue. He says Korea's version was good but even more so, he gained a large appreciation for the many spicy soups that Korea had to offer.

"If it's spicy and has noodles, then I was going to love it," he said. "Yes, there are times when you're craving this or that and you're trying to do it at home, and it kind of brings you back some wonderful memories."

Frankoff's Doosan Bears won the championship last year. He said he doesn't have his title ring yet, but they have assured him it is on the way.