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Lee Jong-Beom Gets Highest Salary

Posted July. 21, 2001 09:10,   


The returned `son of wind`, Lee Jong-Beom (31) simultaneously established two records. Lee became the most expensive player in the domestic pro-sports and became the first player of the new team, Kia Tigers.

Lee signed a contract to join the team on favorable terms of an annual salary of 350 million won and a Kia Motors` most expensive car, Enterprise.

Hence, Lee became the pro-player who receives the greatest amount in the history of Korean professional sports, exceeding Samsung`s Lee Seung-Yup (300 million won) who was the highest-salaried player in the pro-baseball as well as Chonbuk Hyundai`s Kim Do-Hoon (335 million won) in the pro-football.

Just after making the contract, the owner of Kia Tigers, Chung Mong-Gu encouraged Lee, saying that ``it is a matter of course to give the best treatment to Lee who is the best baseball player with the talent and popularity in the domestic pro-baseball league. I hope Lee to contribute Kia to gain the title in this season and to activate the domestic pro-baseball``.

In response to Chung`s remark, Lee expressed his resolution, ``I put my old fame behind and I will do my best in every game as if it is a brand new start. And I will help the team to advance to the playoffs``.

Lee is scheduled to begin playing on August 1 in a game with the Incheon SK that will be the first game after the Kia Motors` takeover of the Haitai Tigers` franchise. Manager Kim Sung-Han plans to use Lee as a third baseman instead of injured Jung Sung-Hoon.

The interview with Lee Jong-Beom.

- Are you satisfied with the terms of the contract?

``I had requested 400 million won before the contract, but I have no regret now. I appreciate Kia for proposing the best treatment. If I play hard in order to be certified as the best player for the rest of season, it will change next year.``

- You came back to the domestic league after three and a half years. Do you feel confident?

``Although I have spent the mentally difficult times in Japan, I have learned a lot in the technical side. Moreover, my physical condition is normal except the injured elbow. If I do my best in every game, I think the fans will be satisfied.``

- How is your current physical condition?

``I recovered the batting ability to 70 percent, but the physical strength and the defensive ability only to 60 percent. Because there still exists the possibility of the injury, I think I have to work out for ten more days in order to fit myself to play ``.

- The fans want to see you in Haitai uniform…..

``So do I. But I have no words to say about that.``

- What is your goal of this season?

``I cannot set the concrete goal because the season already passed the half point. I just think that it is meaningful for me to do my best for the team`s playoffs advancement, and to study the pitching styles of the new pitchers and the ringer pitchers``.