Lotte’s ‘Assault Captain’ Ahn Kwon-soo ends one year together… parting ways with fans in tears

Military service law restricted for third-generation Korean-Americans
11th resignation letter Last home game
“I will never forget my four years in Korea”

Ahn Kwon-soo, 29, the “charge captain” of the Lotte Giants in the Korean baseball organization, said goodbye to Lotte fans at Sajik Stadium in Busan. Ahn Kwon-soo played his last game at Sajik Stadium, thanking the fans for their passionate support over the past year.

Lotte played its last home game of the 2023 season at Sajik Stadium in Busan on April 11. Despite the midweek game, nearly 10,000 fans attended the game. Lotte won the game 14-3 against the Doosan Bears. Lotte will finish the 2023 season with four away games in Gwangju and Daejeon.

Ahn Kwon-soo started at first base and in left field. The song “Never Ending Story” from the group’s revival resounded in Sajik Stadium as Ahn Kwon-soo made his entrance: “If I miss you, may things come true like in a movie that I will meet one day. Fans at Sajik Stadium sang along to the song and cheered for Ahn Kwon-soo’s performance. Ahn went 0-for-5, but his physical play in the outfield helped his team win the game.

The parting of the ways between Ahn and Lotte was long overdue. As a third-generation Korean-American, Ahn Kwon-soo (born in 1993), under the current Military Service Act (Article 128), if he stays in Korea for more than three years, his status as a second-generation overseas Korean will be canceled and he will be converted to an overseas migrant. This means that if he does not fulfill his military service obligation, he will be restricted from engaging in commercial activities and staying in South Korea. In order to continue playing in the KBO, Ahn will have to complete his military service within this year. After this season’s KBO, Ahn will return to Japan, where he has a wife and son, to rest and plan his future.

After playing in Japan’s independent leagues, Ahn made his Korean debut in the 2020 KBO Draft when he was selected by Doosan Baees with the 99th overall pick in the 10th round. He quickly adapted to Korean baseball with his hard work ethic and energetic personality. After being released by Doosan at the end of last season, Lotte signed him to a one-year contract with an annual salary of 80 million won.

After the game on Nov. 11, Ahn wiped away the tears he had been holding back and thanked the fans for supporting him. The fans didn’t leave for a while after the game and applauded him.

“First and foremost, I feel sorry for the fans,” Ahn said. “We finished April as the top team in the league, so I thought we would be able to play fall baseball as a matter of course,” he said. “I kept thinking that my elbow injury was the reason why the team’s performance dropped and we were sluggish.”메이저놀이터

He also thanked his teammates for their support throughout the year. “The past four years in Korea are something I’ll never forget,” Ahn said. “All of my teammates were really good to me, especially the juniors, and I’m grateful for that.” “I will miss Donghee (Yoon Donghee) and Minseok (Kim Minseok), who I stayed with in the dormitory,” Ahn said with tears in his eyes.

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