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Treating Me As a Retired Player Makes Me Sad While Dreaming of Being a Millionaire

Treating Me As a Retired Player Makes Me Sad While Dreaming of Being a Millionaire

Posted January. 05, 2004 22:49,   


It’s freezing. My frozen soul cuts me to the heart. I turned 33-years-old this year. Treating me as a retired player makes me sad when average baseball players usually reach their peak at the age with self-enjoyment of baseball. I was left alone even though I became an FA, which is considered a shortcut to becoming a millionaire.

I have received no words yet from LG that proposed deferring FA and making a contract for only a year. Before I became an FA, I never forgot LG’s attitude in negotiation with me, saying, “Our position is clear. Just take it, or it is over.” Their saying that implied that no team wanted to make me an offer even though I decided to become an FA, thus they want me to keep quiet and take a conciliatory attitude. Even though I was successful at making the contract, how can I raise my face in front of my juniors? The terms desired by LG utterly override my pride.

LG was a team in my dreams during my amateur period and I was as happy as a king while I was playing in a striped LG uniform. I was boastful, saying that, “I’m a fanatical admirer of LG.” However, this is not right. I was neglected by them and will never play for LG ever.

As a matter of fact, my record last year was the pit since a debut. It is not fair to evaluate my entire baseball life with the results of a certain period. I have played baseball for 23 years, since fourth grade at Choongam elementary school. Who can accept the fact that a 23-year period is evaluated by a record of certain period?

Recently I was practicing with the younger generation at a field at Kangnam middle school located nearby my house in Seoul Dongjakgu Daebangdong around 2 p.m. It is my first experience practicing with middle school players, but I received lots of help from them through practice of taking the field, batting, and running together. I thanked them for accompanying me in practice rather than being ashamed.

The reason why I have to skip morning practice is due to Kyu Min, my dear son newly born on November 23 of last year. My wife, Mi Sun Lee, 30, has a hard time with him because of his lack of nighttime sleep. I make up for insufficient sleep in the morning since I soothe a crying baby at night. I have to make money for powdered milk for my baby at least… I never knew before that the price of a diaper is expensive. I believe that everything will go well this New Year. I will play a baseball again wherever I go. I cannot stop here and let it go. I will show that Ji Hyun Yoo is still alive to my fans.

Fans not only miss the old times when a rookie trio consisting of Yong Bin Seo, Jae Hyun Kim and I led LG to a championship in 1994, but also are in great anxiety over our falling into a slump. However, I believe that three of us will overcome current difficulties and become splendid baseball players.

Sang-Soo Kim ssoo@donga.com