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Jung Min-tae Humiliates Himself In Front of Doosan

Posted April. 25, 2004 21:58,   


On the 25th, long time Tigers fan Lee Min threw out the first ball at Kwangju Baseball Stadium. For the 47-year-old Lee, opening the game had special meaning. In January, on a routine trip to the hospital, Lee learned that he was in the last stages of liver cancer and had to begin receiving medical treatment. His last wish was to throw a ball from the mound during a game. Upon hearing of his last wish, the Kia Tigers arranged right away to make this a reality.

From the days when the Tigers were sponsored by Haitai until today, Lee has been an avid fan. Since 1982, the year professional baseball was established in South Korea, Lee, a native of Naju city in Chollanamdo province, has been to all the baseball stadiums around the country rooting fervently for the Tigers at all their games. He started the Kia Tigers Fan Club and became its president. He appeared at fan club functions and volunteered his time doing such things as arranging the fan seating order at stadiums. After throwing the ball at the game, Lee was teary-eyed and stated, “I am very grateful for the support of the fan club. My only wish is that the Kia Tigers win 10 games.”

Kia had lost two consecutive games to SK. Perhaps because of Lee’s wish, Kia, after starting Rios and batting Hong Se Wan first, was able to come from behind and win 6-4.

Rios was able to stave off SK, only giving up 3 runs and 8 hits by the 6th inning. Hong put SK ahead with a two-run homerun in the first inning, and in the 4th inning, when SK was trailing 2-3, he manage to double, which tied the score. In the 5th inning, with no outs and runners on 2nd and 3rd, Kim Chong-kuk hit a ground ball to 2nd base and brought the team to victory.

This year, in Pusan, Lotte has been at the bottom. However, as a result of a strong showing at the beginning of the season, it recorded the largest number of attendees (15,663) at Sajik stadium. In its nine home games, Lotte brought in an average of 9,899 fans (close to 10,000) to its stadium, a remarkable, four-fold increase from its average of 2,284 in the previous year.

However, after a tight pitchers’ duel, Lotte lost to LG 1-4. In the 3rd inning with LG trailing 0-1, Kim Sang Hyun brought in a run and tied the score. In the 5th inning, with two outs and two men on base, LG made a clutch hit and brought in the decisive game winning run. During the game, lead pitcher Lee Seung-ho pitched well, striking out seven players and giving up only one run on four hits.

In Jamsil, Doosan faced Hyundai pitching ace Jung Min-tae. In the 2nd inning, 14 hitters went up to bat and set a new record. Kim Dong-joo, Hong Sung-heun and Jang Won-jin walked in succession. Then, with one out, Kang In-kwon was hit by a pitch and brought in a run. After that, Doosan collected five base hits and, combined with Hyundai’s errors, was able to score 9 runs.

Jung Min-tae lost control and with one only out in the 2nd inning, managed to hit 4 players, give away 4 base hits and give up nine runs in disgrace.

Hwan Soo Zang zangpabo@donga.com