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Lee Seung-yeop’s Mother Passes Away

Posted January. 08, 2007 03:01,   


“I think she gave you one last gift before she left.”

The mortuary of Mrs. Kim Mi-ja (56), Lee Seung-yeop (31, Yomiuri Giants)’s late mother, was set up at the Daegu Fatima Hospital on January 7. Coach Kim Sung-keun of the SK Wyverns came to Daegu from Seoul to comfort Lee Seung-yeop. Lee could only nod in consent.

Lee’s mother suffered from brain tumor after being diagnosed five years ago, and passed away early January 6 from heart failure due to complications.

If it had been mid-season, Lee would have had greater trouble in getting over his mother’s death. One consolation in the midst of sadness was that Lee was able to watch over his mother’s last moments.

Ironically, January 6 was Lee’s fifth anniversary. The day before, after finishing the morning’s training, Lee went to Seoul with his wife Lee Song-jeong to take anniversary photographs. That evening, hearing his mother was in critical condition, they immediately returned to Daegu and were able to reach her deathbed.

Lee said, “I’m heartbroken that she suffered so much all through her life but wasn’t able to live in comfort after all.”

Mrs. Kim was diagnosed with a brain tumor in January of 2002 and began treatment for her illness. Consequently, she was not able to take in Lee’s first season victory with Samsung (2002), Asian home run record title (2003), Japanese Professional League debut (2004), son Eun-hyeok’s birth (2005), and his impressive performance as the stationary clean-up man of the Yomiuri Giants (2006).

On the days he hit a homerun in Japan, Lee Seung-yeop would call his unconscious mother and cry over the phone, saying, “Mom, I hit a homerun today.”

When Mrs. Kim occasionally regained consciousness, she would say only two words. They were “Seung-yeop” and “homerun.”

In addition to Coach Kim, Coach Sun Dong-ryul of the Samsung Lions, former coach Baek In-chun of the Lotte Giants, players like Yang Jun-hyuk of Samsung, Park Myung-hwan of the LG Twins, and many more baseball people and Yomiuri PR staff came to console Lee. Coach Tatsunori Hara and Representative Kiyotake Hidetoshi of the Yomiuri Giants, and employees of the Japan Lotte Group also sent wreaths to express their condolences.