‘Korean Monster’ Ryu Hyun-jin (36) praised his juniors for their performance in international competitions.
The 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games baseball team, led by coach Ryu Joong-il, recorded a final record of 5 wins and 1 loss, achieving its 4th consecutive victory in the competition. In particular, Korea, which lost to Taiwan in the group stage, met Taiwan again in the final and succeeded in taking revenge by winning 2-0.
Gold medals were also won by Korea in the 2010 Guangzhou, 2014 Incheon, and 2018 Jakarta-Palembang competitions, but the gold medal won at this competition was more meaningful than ever. This is because the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) and the Korea Baseball Softball Association (KBSA) placed restrictions on age (under 25 years old) and seniority (under 4 years since joining the team) with the goal of generational change during the national team selection process. Although three players were selected as wild cards (under 29 years of age), it was true that the average age of the national team had dropped significantly.
It was important for the national team to win a gold medal, but discovering young players such as Moon Dong-ju (Hanwha) and Yoon Dong-hee (Lotte) was also a great achievement for the baseball world. In the long term, it is expected that the proportion of young players will increase in other international competitions, such as the Asian Professional Baseball Championship (APBC) next month, the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier 12 in November next year, and the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in 2026.
Seniors watching the competition from afar smile at their juniors’ performance.
Kim Ha-seong (San Diego Padres), who returned to Korea on the 11th, said, “I watched the game as a highlight, and I am so congratulated for winning the gold medal. I also went to the 2018 competition and won the gold medal, but I think I overcame the pressure well. (The seniors did well.) ) I had a bad performance at the WBC last March, but I am very grateful to my juniors for showing good results in the next international competition. In the end, I have a duty to spread the word about Korean baseball, but I think my juniors also played with that sense of responsibility.” He expressed his gratitude to his juniors.
Ryu Hyun-jin, who shone in the league and international competitions, is also an indispensable figure in the history of the national team.
Ryu Hyun-jin led the heyday of Korean baseball by participating in major international competitions, starting with the 2006 Doha Asian Games, which was his professional debut season, and the 2008 Beijing Olympics, 2009 WBC, and 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games. On the one hand, Korean baseball, which was unable to find a pitcher to take charge of the national team’s starting lineup after Ryu Hyun-jin, Kim Gwang-hyun (SSG), and Yang Hyun-jong (KIA), had to rely on three players for a long time.
How did Ryu Hyun-jin feel after seeing the national team that has changed so much? Ryu Hyun-jin, who returned to Korea through Incheon International Airport Passenger Terminal 1 on the 18th, answered a question about the Hangzhou Asian Games national team, saying, “I didn’t see all the games, but I saw them as highlights. I think I brought home a wonderful gift of a gold medal because the young players participated in the competition.” expressed satisfaction.
Ryu Hyun-jin then added, “Those players are the players who will continue to lead Korean baseball in international competitions in the future,” and added, 토토사이트“I think winning the championship in this competition will be of great help (to those players).”
Additionally, Ryu Hyun-jin did not forget to support Lee Jeong-hoo, who was about to take on the American stage. Ryu Hyun-jin said, “(Lee Jung-hoo) is the best hitter in Korea,” and added, “Because he is a player recognized by everyone, I think he will be competitive enough if he adapts quickly.”
Ryu Hyun-jin, who has completed his season schedule, plans to spend time in Korea for the time being. He is also taking a break to prepare for the 2024 season. Above all, he needs to find a destination as he becomes a free agent. As the American Professional Baseball Major League (MLB) postseason schedule is still in progress, it appears that more time will be needed before Ryu Hyun-jin’s future is decided.
Spending time with his juniors is also one of Ryu Hyun-jin’s plans. He said, “I think it will change depending on what I have to do, but since we will do the same training and other things, I think I will be able to do it together (with my juniors).”