Ahn Kwon-Soo’s Big Decision, Review Of Military Service
Ahn Kwon-soo, who shed tears in front of home fans at Sajik Stadium, gave a “goodbye.” The love sent by the fans moved the man’s heart. I made a really difficult decision. Ahn Kwon-soo will undergo a physical examination with the dream of extending his active life.
Ahn Kwon-soo was nominated by the Doosan Bears with the 99th overall pick in the 10th round of the second round of the 2020 Rookie Draft. Ahn Kwon-soo, a former “third generation of Korean-Japanese,” did not receive the nomination of Japanese professional baseball teams despite his impressive performance on the Koshien stage during Waseda University High School, and challenged the KBO League while moving around between business baseball and independent leagues.
In fact, Ahn did not expect much from the KBO League club’s nomination. The reason why I couldn’t show off my skills to the fullest due to back pain in the tryout held in August 2020. Therefore, he did not appear in the rookie draft. However, a “miracle” occurred at the end of the draft. Doosan calling his name. At the time, Doosan highly regarded the fact that Ahn Kwon-soo maintained Korean nationality and decided to give him a chance.
In the first year of his debut, Ahn marked a batting average of 0.270 in 68 games, and the following year, he also posted a record of 0.238 in 87 games. Ahn Kwon-soo, who played mainly as a pinch runner and a large defense in the early days of his debut, had the opportunity to play as a starting player in the 2022 season, and played 267 at-bats in 76 games, recording 71 hits, 43 runs, and a batting average of 0.297 and performing well. However, after the season ended, Ahn Kwon-soo and Doosan’s accompaniment ended.
The reason is the military. Ahn Kwon-soo can play as an active player until the 2023 season without fulfilling his military service, but he had to join the military in order to continue his career in the 2024 season. If I were single, it would have been easy to choose the path of playing professional baseball through military service, but it was never easy to make a decision because I got married early and had children.
It was Lotte that reached out in a “time limit” situation where he could only play for a year. Lotte suggested joining the team because it was a short period of time, but Ahn Kwon-soo thought it would help the team, and they joined hands. Although it was short, Ahn’s impact was huge. Former coach Larry Sutton has praised Ahn Kwon-soo since the spring camp, and even though it was a practice game, he gave a thumbs up to cheer and cheer at the top of his voice in the dugout.
He also showed good performance in the early part of the season. Ahn Kwon-soo, the “Charge Captain,” played in 22 games in April and showed a hot hitting feeling with 27 hits, two home runs, and a batting average of 0.318 OPS, helping Lotte rank first alone. In the meantime, I encountered an unexpected situation. Ahn’s performance in May fell vertically to a batting average of 0.220, as his elbow bone fragments also affected his daily life. As a result, Ahn decided to go through surgery and return in the second half to help the team.
After Ahn Kwon-soo left, Lotte’s performance plummeted, with a batting average of 0.348 in September and 0.304 in October after returning from elbow surgery, but it was not enough to lead Lotte to a rebound alone. In the end, Ahn Kwon-soo shed hot tears while greeting fans after the final home match on the 11th. Although it was a “pre-announced breakup,” Ahn Kwon-soo could not hide his feelings. And after the regular season schedule was over, Ahn Kwon-soo, who had his last meal with his usual close colleagues, returned to Japan on the 20th after organizing his four-year life in Korea.
Ahn Kwon-soo, who finished saying goodbye to his fans and colleagues, made a big decision after a really long thought. Ahn Kwon-soo, who contacted “My Daily” after returning to Japan, opened the door, saying, “I still don’t think the season is over,” and said, “I’m going to have a physical examination next month.” He meant to continue his career in the KBO League through military service and maintain Korean nationality.
Ahn Kwon-soo said, “The head of the team changes, and we need to talk a little more with the club. However, he said, “I’m going to have a physical examination,” and “When did you think about joining the military in detail?” he explained, “I’ve been thinking about it a few days before the regular season ends.” Only a few of the players who played with the club for a year as well as the club know that Ahn Kwon-soo is considering joining the military.
Of course, even if he undergoes a physical examination, it is unclear whether he will be able to continue his career at Lotte or whether other clubs will make offers for recruitment even if he is not Lotte. It is also unclear whether he will fulfill his military service. Nevertheless, Ahn Kwon-soo decided to undergo a physical examination because of his consideration at the Lotte club and the enthusiastic love sent by his colleagues and fans.
Ahn Kwon-soo said, “I thought, ‘Something good will happen this year’ because my April-May performance was so good, but suddenly my elbow began to hurt.” It’s not just because of me, but I was so sorry for the team because my grades have fallen since I was out. Clubs tend to use young players when fall baseball is far away. This is because young players have to experience it. But Lotte kept using me. So I wanted to show good performance until the end. I’m only really grateful to Lotte,” he said.
Of course, practical problems must be solved. Just because you join the army recklessly does not mean that you can continue your active life. However, Ahn Kwon-soo said, “I have to sign a contract that can be recognized by my wife, but I really want to see Lotte win. I’m still so happy to think, “What if Lotte wins the regular season?” I have a lot of thoughts about winning the Lotte. And the fans said a lot of really good things through Instagram messages (DM). I want to win with these fans and colleagues. So I wanted to play baseball a little more,” he stressed.
In fact, Sung Min-gyu, the general manager, has been considering an “extended contract” with Ahn Kwon-soo earlier this season. However, as Lotte has recently begun a major reorganization, no extension contract was made with Ahn Kwon-soo. However, Ahn Kwon-soo was grateful to Sung Min-gyu, the head of the team. “Please write it,” he said, “I only had the thought of working really hard until the end of the season because Sung Min-gyu, the head of the team leader Sung Min-gyu gave me a chance.” However, he failed to advance to the fall baseball league, and I was so sorry that the general manager became so (hard). The general manager contacted me, saying, “I have to sign a long-term contract, but I’m sorry I couldn’t finish it,” and it hurt so much. I’m so grateful,” he said emphatically.
For now, Ahn plans to keep all possibilities open and concentrate on exercising in Japan. “I will prepare (for the season) in Japan for now. I’m going to start exercising,” he said. “I heard that director Kim Tae-hyung is here, and he’s a person I really like.” He gave me a lot of opportunities and raised me even though I was not good at baseball in the first or second year. I think it’s fate to come to Lotte. “If I can, I want to play baseball with manager Kim Tae-hyung once again,” he expressed his desire.
Although he has yet to move his family’s minds 100 percent with his wife and children, it is certainly not an easy choice to decide to take a physical examination. But the purpose of the decision is clear. The desire to win the championship with Lotte fans and colleagues. It is safe to say that Ahn Kwon-soo, who has been agonizing for a long time, moved his heart around him.
Can Ahn Kwon-soo’s wish to be active in “Lotte Ramen” for a longer period of time be realized. Ahn Kwon-soo, who is healthy last year and this year, proved that he works in the KBO League’s first division stage. There are many young prospects in the Lotte outfield, but Ahn’s presence can bring about synergy effects as well as competition. Ahn Kwon-soo, who achieved his ‘dream’ in the KBO League, will prepare to catch a baseball again with another ‘dream’. 스포츠토토