Posted September. 08, 2010 11:15,
The lone amateur to make the national baseball team has received the most congratulatory phone calls among the 24 players selected for the upcoming Guangzhou Asian Games in November.
Kim Myung-sung (photo) of ChungAng University in Seoul received more congratulatory calls than professional relievers Im Tae-hoon (Seoul Doosan Bears) and Jong Hyun-wook (Daegu Samsung Lions) and starter Song Seung-jun (Busan Lotte Giants).
Unlike closer Chong Tae-hyon (Incheon SK Wyverns), a perennial selection to the national team who said he received no phone calls, Kim had his phone ring off the hook Monday night. He said he barely slept because calls kept coming until 4 a.m.
Hearing that he made the team while playing in the national collegiate championship, the pitcher said, I wept after hearing my mother sobbing on my way home in the bus. It wasnt just because of the congratulatory phone calls but also because I can now meet (infielder) Lee Dae-ho and (catcher) Kang Min-ho of Lotte.
Kim was picked fifth overall in the rookie draft by Lotte. A promising player ready for the big time, he got little attention as a third baseman at Jangchung High School in Seoul. He enrolled at ChungAng University after no pro team recruited him.
He began to emerge after becoming a pitcher in his freshman year. In 68 innings over 11 games, he went 6-0 with an earned run average of 1.72. Since I didnt pitch much in high school, I hear a lot that my shoulder is still healthy, he said. I`ve tried to train my lower body to make a professional league.
Even I was surprised, and I assume others must`ve been more so. I think I have to do unimportant and difficult tasks for the national team, he said. Given the opportunity, Ill do my best so that people cannot say I was a surprise selection.
Kim can pitch a complete game but is expected to cover a long inning or middle relief on a relatively weak Korean team in the Asian Games.
Park Chan-ho, who became the first college player to make the national team, is my hero, he said. I want to become a player who never gives up like him. My dream is to stand on the mound as the national teams starting pitcher by giving up selfishness and learning hard.