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Veteran pitcher Choi Young-pil rises again

Posted December. 29, 2014 08:16,   


The time maybe run backwards for Choi Young-pil, pitcher of Kia Tigers.

Many believe that an athlete aged over 40 has to retire. But this common sense does not apply to Choi, a man who does not know how to give up. Kia Tigers’ pitcher aged over 40 is expected to receive annual salary over 100 million won (approx. 89,450 U.S. dollars). The club’s official said, “The exact amount is not confirmed yet. But Choi’s annual salary would exceed 100 million won for sure as he makes a great contribution to the team this season.”

The right-handed pitcher received 70 million won for this year’s annual salary. Choi played in 40 games and recorded four wins, two losses and 14 holds with a 3.19 ERA. Choi’s record is standing out in KIA weak in pitchers. Moreover, the record has been set since June.

Choi signed a contract with Kia this March and started pitching in the first division games from June 1. Choi pitched against NC and struck out four batters on the date of registration, making a triumphant return to the mound. Debuted as a first round draft picked by Hyundai in 1997, the right-handed pitcher was traded to Hanwha in 2001. After finishing the 2010 season, Choi became a free agent but no club wanted to call an old pitcher who sat the record of one win, four losses and 7.45 in ERA. Even Hanwha didn’t sign a deal with him.

Although he became an “FA vagabond,” Choi never gave up baseball. He continued career while playing in Mexican league and Japanese independent league. In 2012, Choi made a comeback to KBO after signing a contract with SK. At the end of 2013 season, the club suggested that Choi retire and begin a new career as a coach or an instructor. But Choi insisted to continue playing in games. He was excluded from the list of SK players but stood on the mound again after going through tryouts this March. It was possible as Choi kept practicing individual training continuously while working as an instructor in Kyunghee University, his Alma Mater. The year when Choi received the biggest annual salary was 2006, when he played in Hanwha receiving 130 million won. The latest year when he received an annual salary over 100 million won was 2009 (with annual salary of 100 million won).