After being eliminated by the NC Dinos in the semi-playoff after losing all three games, SSG desperately felt the need for generational change.

This led to the decision to boldly exclude the coach who led the team to win the overall title in the previous year and several veterans from the 35 protection players of the second draft. Choo was one of the oldest players in the team who faced such a generational change. SSG approached Choo with caution and sincerity. Most of all, he was a player who had positive influence on the team called SSG even in a short period of three years.

He also displayed a different attitude during his first telephone conversation with new coach Lee Soo-yong. Lee highly valued Choo as a veteran and player and called him back in the U.S. According to Lee, Choo began by saying, “I was going to call you in two hours, but thank you for giving me the call first time,” before exchanging honest thoughts on extending his active duty and taking the captaincy position he was offered. He did not end up with just one phone conversation. Since then, Choo has talked with SSG several times back and forth between his home in Korea and the U.S., and the conclusion was made roughly on the 10th.

The minimum salary and full donation for next season were already decided by Choo’s proposal. Most of the consultation processes were used to discuss how to make memories with fans, how to make donations. What resulted from the retirement press release was the retirement press release.

Announcing Choo’s retirement after the 2024 season, SSG announced earlier in the day, “In the process of discussing his career path with the club, Choo recently announced his decision to retire after the end of the 2024 season, and his intention to donate his minimum salary (30 million won) and full salary to the club.” “In order to repay fans’ love and support, Choo has proposed various fan service plans for the 2024 season. He plans to end his career by creating meaningful memories with his fans, including gifts for his signature-faulting uniform, special signing events and support for Ama baseball. Details will also be announced later,” he added.

As a result, Choo will be able to play his retirement season without any pay. This proves his sincerity once again that he agonized over retirement for his juniors after the end of the last season. This is not the first time that Choo voluntarily cut his salary. After receiving 2.7 billion won in salary for the first two years when he returned to Korea in 2021, he voluntarily cut his salary by 1 billion won in 2023 to 1.7 billion won. “There is a salary cap issue, but in fact, I have decided that it is time to get out of the way for my juniors,” Choo told Star News at the SSG fan festival in December last year. “I wanted to play more baseball, but I thought I shouldn’t bring in players who need me for nothing. Since I won the title this year (2022), juniors should be paid more. That’s why I tried to quit my career at first.”

The reason for his retirement speech was the same. “During the off-season, I agonized a lot with my family. Whenever that happened, I could see SSG, fans’ support, and most of all, younger players,” Choo said. As such, I felt that I had a great love for baseball and the team, and agonized over my team and future career together. The team and the new coach needed me and respected my opinion. Next year’s performance is important, but I want to contribute to the team by sharing my experiences and thoughts while training with younger players at Futures League anytime, depending on the team’s situation.

As a result, the SSG has been able to breathe in the salary cap, which had reached its limit. With 1.67 billion won (1.67 million U.S. dollars) to spare, the team has expanded its operations to include salary cap, player salary negotiation, and FA. The SSG will also proactively align itself with the actions of Choo, who has been striving for “team first” and “one team” for the past three years. Despite being the oldest player in the team, Choo studied not only on the field but also the players but also the entire team. A case in point was sending gifts worth 50 million won (55,000 dollars) to 55 SSG officials who worked hard to support the team in an invisible place such as bus driver, locker, laundry, cleaning, squad restaurant, ground keeper, cheer squad and training assistant in January this year.

“Choo Shin-soo joined the team with the founding of SSG in 2021 and has been a veteran player of the team, serving as a focal point of the team’s squad, leading the team to win the ‘wire to wire’ integrated title last year,” SSG said. “In addition, he has donated more than 2.4 billion won so far for youth and socially vulnerable people, and has been serving as a ‘culture changer’ for the past three years, more than just a leader, both inside and outside the baseball stadium, expressing various opinions for the development of Korean baseball,” SSG said. “SSG has decided to respect Choo’s opinion and also participate in his donation activities. The exact donation amount and various donation activities will be disclosed later.”

At Lee’s request, Choo will wrap up his 23-year career as a professional baseball player. Choo, who entered the U.S. after signing a contract with the Seattle Mariners in 2001, made his Major League debut in 2005 before returning to Korea in 2021 after playing for the Cleveland, Cincinnati and Texas teams. He played in 1,652 games with a batting average of 0.275, 1,671 hits, 218 homers and 782 RBIs and an OPS of 0.824. For the past three years, he posted a batting average of 0.260 with 49 homers and 168 RBIs in 361 games.

Choo Shin-soo said, “I think it’s time to end the 23 years of baseball in the U.S. and Korea since 2001. As it is the last season, I want to present meaningful memories regardless of home or away fans with gratitude to the fans who have supported me.”토토사이트넷

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