PHOENIX — Dodgers pitcher Chan Ho Park was still upset Tuesday about an incident in Beijing on Saturday in which he was kept from signing autographs for a throng of Korean fans.
Chinese security forces refused to let Park through to his fans after pitching in the exhibition game against the Padres.
"It was hundreds of Korean people, young kids who go to school in China and those who came a long way to watch the game and then wait a couple hours to get my autograph," said Park, a hero in his native South Korea. "For me, it's important to make the Korean people happy."
He said he didn't understand why the security forces would not let him through, and neither he nor the Dodgers was able to break the impasse.
"I didn't understand what they were saying, they were just pushing me away," Park said.
Manager Joe Torre said he didn't believe the incident to be solely due to language barriers.
"I don't think it was a misunderstanding," Torre said. "I think it was something about how other people live."
Eventually Park decided to tell his fans to meet him at his hotel, where he would sign autographs, or to come back the next day. He said he was able to sign for 20 to 30 fans who came to his hotel and another 40 who returned to Wukesong Stadium on Sunday.
"But I don't know how many couldn't make it," Park said. "People drove for hours from other cities and people came from Korea."
Though Park was still concerned that some of his fans may not have been able to get his autograph, he took comfort in seeing them in China.
"I was very appreciative, especially when I saw the Korean flags they were holding," he said. "It made me feel special."