‘What ifs’ are useless. But what ifs could have prevented Lotte from parting ways with Ahn Kwon-soo?
The time to say goodbye to Lotte Giants outfielder Ahn Kwon-soo, 30, is fast approaching. Ahn Kwon-soo, a third-generation Korean-American, was born and raised in Japan, graduated from the prestigious Waseda University and played in the Japanese Independent League. He then decided to play baseball in his grandfather’s homeland, attending a tryout in 2019 and was selected with the 99th overall pick in the 10th round of the 2020 First-Year Player Draft to begin his career in South Korea.
Despite his Korean nationality, playing in South Korea was a new challenge for Ahn. However, Ahn’s unique “insa” personality, bright smile, and loud fighting voice made him a positive virus that made everyone smile. Former Doosan outfielder Jung Soo-bin (33) looked back on the past three years with Ahn and said, “He adapted to Korea so quickly. He had a great personality and got along with all the players. We had a lot of fun playing baseball. I had a great personality and got along well with the seniors and juniors. It was a lot of fun,” he said, adding that he was “very loud in the dugout in a positive way.”
But Ahn’s three-year stint in South Korea was about to come to an end – the gateway to military service remained. He had to fulfill his military obligations in order to continue his professional and commercial activities in South Korea. The clock was ticking, and Doosan released him last year.
Lotte, however, had a different idea. By Lotte’s calculations, Ahn still had one year left. Not knowing if he would return to Japan and continue his baseball career, Ahn decided to spend one more year with Lotte to make sure he didn’t have any regrets.
From spring training, he was determined. Even though he didn’t know any of the players at Lotte, he fit right in and was one of the loudest voices in the camp. In fact, Ahn was an integral part of Lotte’s run in April. In 22 games during the month of April, she was the offensive spark, batting 3-for-27 (85 at-bats) with two home runs, 12 RBIs, 10 runs scored, and an OPS of .815. He was also named to the preliminary roster for the Hangzhou Asian Games, paving the way for him to continue his career with Lotte and South Korea.
On the last day of April, a turning point occurred that would define the season for Ahn and Lotte. The pain caused by the bone chips in his elbow eventually prevented him from hitting and throwing properly, and in early June, he underwent surgery to remove the bone chips from his elbow.
The expected rehabilitation period was three months. He was expected to return in early September. At the earliest, it was the end of August. However, Ahn Kwon-soo rehabilitated at a furious pace and returned to the first team. Lotte was in a hurry, but Ahn Kwon-soo himself didn’t want to waste what could be his last season. 메이저사이트 After undergoing surgery on June 8, Ahn returned to the first team roster on July 30. Although he wasn’t able to hit and throw at 100 percent, Ahn was back to being the lifeblood of the team. But