“I think there are about 1,000 of them (laughs).”
Ahn Kwon-soo, 30, of the Lotte Giants, recently gave Yoon Dong-hee, 20, a batting glove. He gave the glove to Yoon because he realized that Yoon would not be able to play with him for the rest of the season due to his selection to the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games baseball team. Ahn, a Korean-American, will likely return to Japan after the season, where he has an 11-month-old son and a wife.
“(Ahn) Kwon-soo gave me a glove as a farewell,” said Yoon Dong-hee. “When I saw the glove with my brother’s name and number 0 on it, I asked him, ‘Why are you giving it to me if it’s not a memento?’ He said, ‘Take it because I won’t see you when I get back,’ and I said, ‘I’ll see you when I get back. If we go back to Japan, we can still see each other’s faces.”
Still, Ahn Kwon-soo felt even more fondly for Yoon Dong-hee because he didn’t have much time to spend with her. Moreover, the two were special friends who shared the team’s accommodation this season. After handing over the gloves, Ahn Kwon-soo also posted a photo with Yoon Dong-hee on his personal social media (SNS), writing, “The best player who tried harder than anyone, do well. Can we meet again?” he wrote.
Ahn Kwon-soo said before the Incheon SSG Landers game on the 24th, “Thanks to (Yoon) Dong-hee, my SNS followers have increased a lot. I think it’s about 1,000,” he laughed, then revealed, “I heard that players who go to the Asian Games are not easy to play in the rest of the season, so I conveyed my feelings.”스포츠토토
Ahn Kwon-soo wished Yoon good luck and is determined to play the rest of the season without regrets. “As the weather gets cooler, I feel sad in a way,” he said, “I can’t say that I have any regrets this year, but I will always play hard.”
For Ahn, it’s a season to remember. Fans dubbed him “Bokbun” after his breakout performance earlier this season. In June, he underwent surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow, and having fans waiting for him helped him to focus on his rehabilitation. “I was really grateful that there were people who waited for me,” Ahn said, adding, “The season is not over yet, so I will show them how hard I play until the end.”