AG final roster close to confirmation…Ahn Kwon-soo “I want to play baseball for a long time”
The final roster for the Hangzhou Asian Games baseball team will be finalised this week.
The preliminary roster, which was announced earlier, included Lotte’s Ahn Kwon-soo, a Korean-American.
Reporter Park Soo-joo spoke to him about what it’s like to play in what could be his last year as a KBO player.
From ’99th-ranked rookie’ to first-team regular starter.안전놀이터
Now in his fourth year as a professional, Lotte’s Ahn Kwon-soo has become more comfortable.
“(In my first and second years), I didn’t speak Korean very well, so even if I wanted to say something, I would refer to it a bit… (now) I think we communicate well.”
He started his YouTube channel to record his life as a baseball player, and thanks to the support of his Korean fans, he gained over 10,000 subscribers in just four months.
“First of all, I don’t know how long I can play baseball, so let’s do everything I want to do… I have a lot of Korean subscribers, so my editor is Japanese, but I’m studying Korean…”
For the third-generation Korean-American, this may be his last year playing in Korea.
Next year he will be obliged to do military service, and with a wife and infant son in Japan, the military is not an easy option.
He’s playing through the pain in his elbow without surgery because he knows it could be his last.
“It hurts more when I bat than when I throw the ball… so I’m trying to find a new form.”
As for the Asian Games, where he is exempted from military service, he cautiously expressed his hope of participating, saying, “I want to play baseball for a long time.
“I want to play baseball for a long time… I played (last year) thinking I should retire, but now that I’m playing (baseball)… I think if I work hard every day, good things will happen later.”
His goal this year is to play baseball every day without regret.
And to repay Lotte for holding his hand after he was released with a win.
“I’m so grateful to Lotte because I’m still playing baseball, and all I can think about is that I have to work hard every day to help Lotte win.”