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Numbers for Baseball Classic Announced

Posted January. 04, 2006 03:03,   


The Korean Baseball Organization announced the national team’s uniform number assignments yesterday for the upcoming World Baseball Classic that begins March 3.

Most players chose to keep their numbers from their clubs, but Lee Seung-yeop and Bae Yeong-su exchanged theirs.

“Kaennip, you take my number,” said Lee Seung-yup. Lee (Lotte) will wear number 25 for the classic. His regular number, 36, will be worn by Bae Yeong-su (Samsung).

The two are both Gyeongbuk High school alumni. Lee calls his junior Bae by his nickname “Kaennip” (sesame leaf), and Bae is friends with Lee as well. They are best friends on the team and often take fielding drills together.

Major leaguers are all attached to their numbers. Lee Seung-yup’s 36 is no exception. Lee Seung-yup first took the number 36 in hopes of overcoming the now retired 90’s home-run legend Jang Jong-hun of Hanwha, whose number was 35.

Lee offered to exchange his cherished number with Bae as a sign of mutual encouragement.

In the meantime, KBO announced the schedule for the national team through the tournament’s preliminary rounds. The national team will fly to Fukuoka on February 19 for climate training and a practice match against Lotte. After one more practice match on February 27, the climate training session will end.

The national team will be in Tokyo on January 28 to play one last practice match against the Japan Series champion Lotte Marines on March 1. The first preliminary match will be held on March 3 at 11 a.m., against Taiwan.

Lee Beom-ho (Hanwha) will replace Kim Han-su (Samsung), who will not play in the tournament because of a back injury.

Park Chan-ho (San Diego) will wear 61; Seo Jae-ung (New York Mets) will wear 26; Kim Byung-hyun (Colorado) will wear 49; Lee Jong-bum (Kia) will wear 9; and Lee Byeong-kyu will wear number 7 in the tournament.