“Seeing them crying made me feel emotional.”
That’s how Lotte Giants acting manager Lee Jong-woon (57) recalled the final moments of their final home game a day earlier.
What made him cry was Ahn Kwon-soo (30), who is leaving the KBO after this season. 토토사이트 Ahn, who came to the KBO as a Korean-American and wore a Lotte jersey this year, will have to fulfill his military service obligation in order to continue his career in Korea. But it’s a difficult choice, given that he grew up in Japan and is already married with children.
On Nov. 11, he said goodbye to the home fans at the Doosan Bears game in Busan. After the game, Busan fans chanted “Ahn Kwon-soo,” and he couldn’t hold back the tears as they cheered him on. “I want to continue playing baseball…. Because there is only one thing I can do,” Ahn Kwon-soo said, expressing his longing and desire for baseball.
Lee said, “Ahn Kwon-soo had a great influence on the other players. He was a team atmosphere maker and a player who gave energy,” said Lee. “There is also a regret that he could have given better energy if he hadn’t had arm surgery during the season.” “He wants to play baseball so badly, but he can’t do it even though he wants to,” he said, adding, “When I saw him crying, it was very emotional, not only for the players, but also for me.”
“There are people who can’t do it (like Kwon-soo), and there are people who don’t realize the value of it. Kwon-soo really wants to play baseball more…” Lee said, adding, “I hope the players realize how precious it is to run and play on the baseball field.”
During Lee’s playing days, Lotte was far from the best team in the league, but they were never an easy opponent to watch. They played a gritty, hard-nosed style of baseball that endeared them to the fans in their hometown of Busan. Lee was also one of the pillars of the Namduo Castle in the early and mid-1990s, along with Jeon Jun-ho, Kim Eung-guk, Park Jung-tae, and Kim Min-ho, with his quick feet, excellent baseball sense, and gritty play.
However, the image of “Mr. Giants” lost its shine at some point, and he is now reduced to taking so-called “passwords. Recently, the company has been using big words like “process,” “retooling,” and “reform,” but nothing has been accomplished so far.
Ahn Kwon-soo’s tears were perhaps a reflection of Lotte’s loss of focus in recent years. “That’s what we need to do as a team,” Lee said, emphasizing that “we need to have a mindset of always being on our toes rather than ‘it’s me or nothing,’ and other players need to try to go beyond the main lineup.”