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Slugger Lee Has Major League Future

Posted July. 18, 2006 03:27,   


To Lee Chun-gwang (63), Lee Seung-yeop (30, Yomiuri Giants) is the youngest of three children and also good son. He is famous for his love for his father.

Lee has shown his childish side to the public many times. In 2003, when he announced that he was moving to Lotte in the Japanese Baseball League after deliberating over whether he should stay in Korea or move to Japan, he started crying. During the peak of the Korean Professional Baseball Player Association crisis, he cried again.

Few know that in his boyish face, there is also a stubbornness that cannot be overcome.

Lee was always steadfast in the most important moments. He made his decisions no matter others said. In the end, things always worked out for him.

Lee started baseball when he was in fourth grade despite his father’s disapproval. He also became a professional baseball player, despite his parents’ wishes for him to go to university. In 2003, Lee recorded the most homeruns (56) in one season in Asia to become the hottest star.

After the 2003 season, Lee again made the decision to move to Japan, despite his father’s wishes for him to stay in Korea.

He had a tough first season. He was demoted to the minor leagues and he sat on bench most of the time. The next season, however, he hit 30 homeruns and became the fourth batter for Yomiuri, Japan’s most prestigious team.

There is already a brewing competition between Major League Baseball and Yomiuri for Lee, who currently leads the league in homeruns.

What decision will Lee make after the season? Lee’s father says, “Seung-yeop lives off his dreams. There is a rainbow beyond the mountains. When you climb the mountains to get to the rainbow, the rainbow is somewhere else. That is how my son lives. He continuously challenges himself, and takes the hard route.

Lee turned down Samsung’s generous offer to play in Japan after the 2003 season. In 2005, he received a salary cut to move to Yomiuri. This may be the preparatory step before moving to Major League Baseball.

This stubbornness is what created Lee. Major leaguer Lee will be the final product of it.