On the 10th, a professional baseball match between the Samsung Lions and Kiwoom Heroes was held at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul.
It was Kiwoom’s last game at its home stadium this season. Pete Putilla (34), general manager of the Major League Baseball’s San Francisco Giants, was also visible in the stands.
He stood up and clapped and cheered when Lee Jeong-hoo (25) appeared as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the 8th inning when Kiwoom was ahead 5-3. 안전놀이터
Lee Jung-hoo made his comeback about three months after undergoing surgery for an injured left ankle last July.
Before going to bat, Lee Jeong-hoo bowed his head three times to the audience.
Then, after a 12-pitch battle with Samsung pitcher Kim Tae-hoon, he retired with a ground ball to shortstop.
San Francisco’s general manager Putilla applauded Lee Jung-hoo even after he retired due to a hit.
General Manager Putilla’s standing ovation is an example of the Major League Baseball’s interest in Lee Jung-hoo.
Lee Jeong-hoo, who became a top star last year by winning five professional baseball batting awards and MVP, has been looking to enter the United States for several years.
The problem was timing, and after this season ended, they decided to knock on the door of the major leagues through the posting system.
The teams currently showing interest in Lee Jung-hoo include San Francisco and the New York Yankees.
Lee Jeong-hoo’s ransom is expected to be at least $50 million based on multi-year annual salary.
Kim Ha-seong, Jeong-hoo Lee’s senior, signed a contract with the San Diego Padres two years ago with the condition of receiving $39 million for 4+1 years. The Kiwoom club expects to earn at least 10 billion won by sending Lee Jeong-hoo to a major league club.
Lee Jeong-hoo said, “I don’t really care about contract issues.
I don’t know yet which club I will talk to.
I think my agent will do well,” he said.
I talked a lot with Ha-seong Kim, who transferred to San Diego.
He said that Kim Ha-seong would be returning to Korea tomorrow, so he tried to ask more questions.
I learned a lot from watching my brother’s advancement to the U.S.,” he said.
He is also studying English in his spare time to advance to the major leagues. Lee Jeong-hoo said, “Seniors said that adapting to the local environment is important.
So, I study English whenever I have time. Perhaps because he doesn’t study every day, he keeps forgetting words.
I plan to work harder in the future,” he said with a smile.
The Kiwoom club prepared a special farewell party for Lee Jeong-hoo after the game ended that day.
Immediately after the final home game, a video showing Lee Jeong-hoo’s journey from his debut in 2017 to his ascension to MVP last year was shown on the electronic display board.
It was a special parting gift prepared by the Kiwoom team. The fans could not easily leave the place and shared their last memories with Lee Jung-hoo. Some fans even wiped away tears.
Lee Jeong-hoo said, “I’ve been very excited since last night.
I was very nervous. “I prepared hard because I thought it might be my last time at my home stadium,” he said. “Seven years passed quickly.
I have a long baseball career ahead of me, but I will never forget these seven years when I started my professional career,” he confessed.
Lee Jeong-hoo dreamed of becoming a big leaguer since he was young, watching the performances of his seniors in the United States. Now, if he enters the major leagues, he can become a role model that younger players will envy.
Lee Jeong-hoo said, “I want to tell my juniors, ‘Don’t be satisfied just because you became a first-team professional baseball player.’ He said, “I want people to play baseball with the intention of becoming the best player, not the first team,” and “I want to follow in the footsteps of my seniors and achieve good results in the United States.” “I will do my best to help my juniors continue to advance to the major leagues,” he pledged.