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Ryu Hyun-jin pays surprise visit for Korean women’s baseball team

Ryu Hyun-jin pays surprise visit for Korean women’s baseball team

Posted August. 16, 2023 08:09,   

Updated August. 16, 2023 08:09


The South Korean women's baseball national team, led by Director Yang Sang-moon, suffered a 0-10 defeat in a five-inning mercy rule game against Canada in the final match of the WBSC Women's Baseball World Cup Group A preliminary round held on Monday in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. With five losses in the preliminary rounds, the Korean national team failed to achieve their goal of breaking into the tournament round.

Comprised entirely of amateur baseball enthusiasts, including homemakers and students, the women's national team players faced a somber journey back home. As there were no direct flights to South Korea from Thunder Bay, they awaited connecting flights to return home to Toronto.

At that moment, an unexpected guest arrived for the players. It was “Korean Monster” Ryu Hyun-jin (36), who plays in the MLB for the Toronto Blue Jays. Just a day earlier, Ryu became a winning pitcher after 444 days, securing a significant victory with five innings pitched and two earned runs against the Chicago Cubs at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. This victory held special meaning for the South Korean pitcher as it followed an extensive rehabilitation process after elbow ligament surgery.

Despite the fatigue from the previous evening's game, Ryu visited the airport where the female baseball national team was awaiting their connecting flight, accompanied by his wife, Bae Ji-hyeon, and daughter. Ryu's airport visit was at the request of the women's national team head coach, Jeong Geun-woo (41).

The women's national team players received autographs from Ryu Hyun-jin and took photos together, enjoying a moment of joy. "We are very thankful to Ryu for visiting to support our players," head coach Jeong expressed gratitude. "His presence was a delightful surprise for our players."

Heon-Jae Lee uni@donga.com