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Choo Shin-soo offers $191K to Texas minor leaguers

Posted April. 03, 2020 07:38,   

Updated April. 03, 2020 07:38


Texas Rangers’ outfielder Choo Shin-soo is a player with the highest salary in his team. He signed a 7-year contract for 130 million U.S. dollars in 2014 and will receive 21 million dollars this year. The star player had experienced hardships while playing for a minor league team before today’s success.

Choo had spent seven seasons in the minor league before he became a full-time major leaguer. Back then, he received 1,400 dollars a month at the Triple-A, which was never enough to live with his wife and newborn son. He used to skip meals to save 20 dollars of meal money so that he could buy diapers and daily necessities. “I think of the days in the minor league whenever I have to go through rough time,” he said.

When the Major League baseball was suspended due to COVID-19, the minor league was the first thing that popped in his head. Pondering the memories of 10 years ago, Choo wanted to give comforting and courageous messages to younger minor leaguers.

MLB.com and The Associated Press reported Wednesday that Choo donated 1,000 dollars of living expenses to all 191 minor leaguers of the Texas Rangers. That is 191,000 dollars in total.

When the spring camp was suspended in March, he and his wife, Ha Won-mi, who had gone through the hardships together, discussed ways to help out the team’s minor leaguers. “Minor league players are valuable assets to our team,” Choo said. “I hope they could focus on baseball without worrying about making ends meet. Their growth is pivotal to our victory.”

“I had nothing when I came to the U.S. 20 years ago, but now I have a whole lot more thanks to baseball,” the South Korean baseball star said. “Now is the time for me to share what I have with others. Sharing is all the more important in difficult times.”

He also donated 200 million won last month to the Daegu branch of the Community Chest of Korea to help with COVID-19 crisis in his home country.

Heon-Jae Lee uni@donga.com