Ahn Kwon-soo reflects on leaving Lotte and his four years in the KBO

Ahn Kwon-soo (30), leadoff man for the Lotte Giants at the start of the 2023 season.

Ahn Kwon-soo, the third-generation Korean-American, left South Korea after this season, his fourth in the KBO, in accordance with the Enforcement Decree of the Military Service Act, which states that if a foreign national stays in South Korea for more than three years, he is not eligible for military service deferment. At the final home game on October 11 at Busan Sajik Stadium, many fans said goodbye to Ahn Kwon-soo with regret.

The scene proved that he was loved by the fans. Ahn Kwon-soo never imagined this day would come. Neither did I, who had been listening to his past stories, because he was a player who, even when he was doing well, was overconfident and failed because of his pride.

Ahn Kwon-soo came from Waseda Industrial College, a high school baseball powerhouse. He graduated from the prestigious Waseda University, a career that could be labeled “elite,” but his baseball life was anything but elite.

“I put in a lot of effort in junior high school and became a starter in my first year of high school. In my sophomore year, I traveled to the Koshien Tournament and got some attention, but I got complacent and stopped trying after that.”

In his freshman year of college, 카지노사이트 he was disciplined by the baseball team for a personal matter. “At that time, my teammates helped me by saying, ‘Let’s get back together,’ but I don’t think I felt that kind of consideration at the time.”

Ahn dropped out of the baseball team in the fall of his freshman year.

He started playing in an independent league in his junior year of college, and in his first season, he batted over .300. In his second year in the league with a new team, Ahn became overconfident again.

“At first, the coaches and people around me were supportive, but I let them down because I showed an arrogant attitude.”After joining the Doosan Bears in 2020 after a period of unemployment, his mindset didn’t change. The turning point came late in the season in his first year with Doosan.

“When I looked at the outfield, I saw that Doosan had three of the best players in Kim Jae-hwan, Jung Soo-bin, and Park Gun-woo (now with the NC Dinos), and I felt like I couldn’t do anything about it. That’s when I started to think that unnecessary pride is a barrier to growth, not just in baseball but in anything. As I went back and forth between the first team and the Future League, I thought about what kind of player I needed for the team and what kind of mindset a backup player should have.”

The image of Ahn Kwon-soo in the dugout, always smiling, encouraging his teammates and shouting out a fight cry, is not his original style. It’s something he learned to survive in the KBO.

When Ahn moved to Lotte earlier this year, he didn’t think about his personal performance. “I thought, ‘What can I do to help Lotte win the championship,’ and that my first priority was to work hard and play as a team.”

When we met in Japan at the end of November, 사설 토토사이트 Ahn concluded his career. “I realized that people who succeeded had the habit of continuing to work hard until the end, and it’s good to learn even if you fail.”

Looking back on his four seasons in the KBO, from 2020 to this year, Ahn said.

“I’m glad I went to Korea.”

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