Monday, 22nd April 2024

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“Hanwha will be better.”

As Ryu Hyun-jin (37) has all but decided to return to the Hanwha Eagles in the Korean Baseball Organization, KT transfer Woo Kyu-min (39), who met him before he arrived in Gijang, the team’s training ground, said, “Hanwha will be better.”

Woo revealed the story behind Ryu’s return on Tuesday at Hyundai Motor Dream Ball Park in Gijang-gun, Busan, where KT’s first spring training camp is underway. Although Hanwha has not yet made an official announcement, Ryu recently left the MLB to return to his “home team,” Hanwha. Ryu played for Hanwha for seven seasons, starting in 2006, before making his MLB debut in 2013, playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Toronto Blue Jays. He will return to Korea for the 2024 season after a 12-year absence.

Ryu’s news was also a topic of conversation among KT players. 스포츠토토 Woo also shared an anecdote about his recent encounter with Ryu, saying that he bumped into Ryu during a personal training session in Okinawa, Japan, before he arrived in Gijang in February and struck up a casual conversation about his return to Korea. “Hyun-jin, are you coming to Korea?” he asked, and Ryu’s response was, “I’m not coming to Korea.” At this point, it seems that Ryu wanted to stay in the MLB.

Woo Kyu-min, who was drafted by LG with the 19th pick in the third round of the 2003 secondary draft,

He hung out with Ryu early in his career and became close with him. “Hanhwa will be better if Hyun-jin comes in,” he said. “Hyun-jin is not in bad shape. I think it would be good if Hyun-jin becomes an issue in the development of Korean baseball.” He welcomed Ryu’s return. “But I wonder what it will be like in 2025, when the new stadium opens in Daejeon,” he said, adding, “You might come in now and think, ‘They’re still using this ballpark,'” he laughed.

Woo moved from Samsung to KT through the second round of the draft ahead of the 2024 season. He’s 39 years old, but he’s fitting in like a veteran. “Definitely, (KT) players tend to find (training) and do it. “I think it’s more about quality than quantity,” he said. “I’ve seen veterans and young players alike do it more, and I think that’s why they’ve become a strong team. That’s why I came here, to find it and do it.”

The fact that he will be able to play baseball again this year ignited a fire in Woo’s heart. His personal goal of continuing to play baseball has been achieved. “I want to go to the Korean Series and win it. I’m asking the beasts to give me a ‘bus’ ride.” Woo has yet to play in the Korean Series.

The team will travel to Okinawa on March 23 for their second camp.


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