Will “Hot Stove League” hit a home run?
‘Hot Stove League‘ is a 2019 SBS K-drama series starring Namkoong Min, Park Eun Bin, Oh Jung Se, and Jo Byung Gyu. It aired from December 13, 2019, to February 14, 2020. The series received critical acclaim and has won Best Drama at the 56th Baeksang Arts Awards.
Baek Seung Soo (Namkoong Min) is the newly appointed general manager of the professional baseball team ‘Dreams’. The team ranks bottom of the league. Lee Se Young (Park Eun Bin) is the operations manager of the team. Her character is very fond of ‘Dreams’ and has a never give up attitude towards the same.
Namkoong Min plays the protagonist of the series i.e. Baek Sung Soo. He has been a sports team manager and every team he manages has a record for several wins, however, they end up getting disbanded. The reason why a person with no experience of baseball gets to become a baseball team manager is because of how the higher ups plan to disband the movie to take care of the budget issues they’re facing.
Baek Sung Soo is an amazing man who plans to make this particular team work. Namkoong Min’s calm and collected self as Baek Sung Soo is admirable and his acting makes you respect the character and root for him. Another character who supports lead the most is Lee Se Young played by Park Eun Bin. Lee Se Young is someone who adores baseball, she is actually passionate about what she does and wants to do great things for the team. She is also the only one capable of criticizing Baek Seung Soo which makes their chemistry work really well.
Joe Byeong Gu as Han Jae Hee is the rich guy who is trying to prove that he is not just hired because of nepotism. Every supporting character is well placed and their appearance and reasons are well explained. All the actors have done a phenomenal job at making you believe that you’re looking at the character with a story and not an actor doing their job.
One character who didn’t have much screentime but made me love him was Lee Dae Yoon as Viking’s GM. I would like to talk more about it but I think that would spoil things for y’all.
The soundtrack set list is a combination of ballad and rock ballad. “Cue Sign” by Lee Won Suk is used as the theme for the drama. My favourite out of all is “DOWN” By Savina & Drones, it’s a calming ballad which soothes my heart.
It’s not a typical sports K-drama that focuses on the game but more on business management and operations. The drama is very good and I’m sure you’ll love it. I would advise romance lovers to stay away from the drama if you expect a love story as there’s none. There are 16 episodes and it’s available on Netflix.
I’ll rate this drama a solid 8/10.