Lotte Giants outfielder Ahn Kwon-soo (30) started in left field against the Doosan Bears at Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan on April 11. He singled in the first, second and third innings, was hit by a pitch in the fourth and struck out in the sixth before being replaced. He was hitless in five at-bats. After the game, the Busan fans chanted “Ahn Kwon-soo,” and he couldn’t hold back the tears as they cheered him on.
It was the last game he played in front of the Busan home fans.
Ahn Kwon-soo, as he is popularly known, is a Korean-Japanese overseas Korean and will return to his family in Japan after this season. To continue playing in the KBO, he will have to fulfill his military service, which is difficult for a 30-year-old family man. Lotte has Lotte to thank for holding the hand of Ahn, who was released by the Doosan Bears after last season.
He aimed to make the national team for the Hangzhou Asian Games as a wild card. Winning a gold medal at the Asian Games would clear his military service and allow him to continue playing for South Korea. A strong start to the season set the tone for the team. But injuries got in the way.안전놀이터
On the 11th, in the dugout on the first base side of Sajik Baseball Stadium, Ahn Kwon-soo reflected on the season and regretted the elbow injury. “I already had a bad shoulder, but the elbow injury got worse. After suffering from unbearable pain that made it difficult to lift his arm, he went under the knife in June. Once the pain was gone, his playing opportunities dwindled.
“I want to keep playing baseball…. It’s the only thing I can do. But I don’t plan to play in Japan. I haven’t planned anything yet. I’ll think about it after the season is over.”
If she were alone, she would have continued her opportunities even if it meant serving in the military.
The fierce senior was followed by several juniors. At the beginning of the season, Ahn Kwon-soo was a force to be reckoned with.
“I’ll miss (Kim) Min-seok and (Yoon) Dong-hee, who I lived with in the hostel. “I will miss (Kim) Min-seok and (Yoon) Dong-hee, who lived in the dormitory with me, but I think we did well (at the Asian Games) because Dong-hee was a ready player.
The final home game was against former team Doosan. The final home game was also the final game of the season for Doosan. After training before the game, Ahn Kwon-soo visited his old teammates. A Doosan official said that Ahn Kwon-soo visited his locker every time he played for Doosan.
You can’t talk about Lotte and Busan without mentioning their passionate support. The Lotte fans were special to Ahn Kwon-soo. “I think their passion is really great. Honestly, my elbow was hurting a lot, but hearing the cheers gave me strength. They kept cheering for me, which gave me a little more strength,” he said. He said he was sorry he didn’t play better.
He spent three years with Doosan and one year with Lotte, four years that will forever be remembered in his baseball life.
“I was born and lived in Japan, so when I first came to Korea, I was a little scared, but everyone was very welcoming.
I was able to make a lot of friends here. I had a really good experience for four years.”
Until the game against Doosan on Nov. 11, he had played a total of 322 games in four seasons.