With only 21 games left in the regular season, Lotte’s reality is not easy. Lotte, whose win-loss margin is “-7 (58 wins and 65 losses), which is 5.5 games different from SSG in fifth place, should rely on the possibility of becoming leaner to advance to the postseason as the number of remaining games decreases.
The more so, the less the life span of a baseball player Ahn Kwon-soo (30) will be. The third-generation Korean-Japanese can no longer play in Korea after this season because he did not serve in the military. Ahn Kwon-soo’s remaining baseball life is three weeks, if short, and even if Lotte advances to the Korean Series, it is less than two months away. 스포츠토토
When asked about his goal for the rest of the year, Ahn Kwon-soo, who met at Jamsil Stadium last month, said, “I want to do it with the mindset that the team can go to the postseason no matter what.” Perhaps Ahn Kwon-soo has continued his baseball life so far because he has firmly grasped the “thin possibility.”
After graduating from high school, Ahn was not nominated in the Japanese professional baseball (NPB) rookie draft. Ahn Kwon-soo looked back, “There are many ways to play baseball in Japan, so I thought I should continue.” Ahn knocked on the door of professional baseball by continuing to play baseball for the Industrial League team after going through Waseda University baseball team (retired) and independent league. However, the door of NPB was not opened even after playing for four years (2016-2019) in the unemployment team, which is just below the professional level.
Ahn contemplated retirement. Ahn Kwon-soo said, “I wanted to keep playing baseball at a higher level, but I had nowhere else to go in Japan. “At a time when I retire anyway, I thought to get a Korean professional baseball tryout (pre-joining test to check the skills of overseas amateur and professional players and high school and university dropouts), which is higher than Japanese professional baseball.”
The 2020 tryout that I stepped up with the feeling of catching straws. Ahn Kwon-soo was 100% sure that he would not be nominated. Having injured his side at the time of the tryout, he couldn’t even try to bat in practice and couldn’t finish the running test properly due to the pain.
Still, Ahn’s parents visited the rookie draft site in person. Ahn’s name was not on the invitation list for the rookie draft that year. It is not easy to receive invitations to the professional baseball rookie draft even for players whose top round nominations are confirmed. This is because KBO makes the guest list as conservative as possible to prevent players returning home without being nominated.
Nevertheless, Ahn’s parents intentionally scheduled their trip to Korea to the date of the draft. Ahn Kwon-soo was selected by Doosan with the 99th overall pick in the second 10th round in the 2020 Rookie Draft. His father, Ahn Yong-chi, took his son’s uniform instead at the time and said, “I was wondering if I would be nominated, but it really happened. I think a miracle has happened.”