Hong Won-ki (50), head coach of Kiwoom, invited foreign players and their families to dinner during the spring camp in Arizona, USA last February. He talked candidly about things he hadn’t been able to do before at a meal, not a baseball field.메이저놀이터

Dinner with the manager was a special moment for Eric Yokishi (34), a “longevity” foreign pitcher who was in his 5th year at Kiwoom. Yokishi, whom I met during the camp, said, “It was special because the coach prepared a separate seat for foreign players. Edison Russell, who returned from Korea, or Ariel Furado, who came back from Korea, must have felt the warmth as if they were at home. It was a meaningful occasion,” he said.

At this meeting, Yokishi made a promise to coach Hong Won-ki, “Let’s win the championship that we couldn’t do last year.” Kiwoom advanced to the Korean Series last year in 3rd place in the regular league, but unfortunately fell to SSG, which went straight to 1st place, with 2 wins and 4 losses.

Yokishi said, “Last year’s runner-up will be a good lesson for our team. To win, you need to finish first in the regular season. The direction of our team this year is clear. This is the last season for Lee Jeong-hoo (who announced that he will advance to the US major league), and it is the right time to challenge for the championship. I am fortunate to be able to share that period with you.”

However, Yokishi’s dream of winning did not come true. On the 6th, I felt pain in my left thigh at the game against LG in Gocheok, and a partial tear of the adductor muscle was diagnosed as a result of the examination. Injuries that require at least 6 weeks of rehabilitation. He is still in the mid-lower ranks at 7th, but it has been a long time to wait for Kiwoom to challenge for the championship. Even if he recovers, he cannot guarantee that he will show the same performance as before. Kiwoom had to fight to advance to the top ranks, and regrettably decided to say goodbye to Yokishi.

It was a decision at the business level, but I couldn’t feel comfortable. Goh Hyung-wook, head of Kiwoom, met Yokishi in search of a cat with a rehabilitation group, and explained the team’s circumstances in person and treated them with courtesy. He was a Yokishi who wanted Kiwoom to win more than anyone else, so he agreed and accepted the decision. The Kiwoom team also spares no effort in organizing their personal affairs until the Yokishi family leaves for the United States. A separate seat was set up to say goodbye to the players as well as the fans. Ahead of the Gocheok Samsung exhibition on the 24th, there will also be a fan signing event for Yoki City.

Regarding the farewell with Yokishi, director Hong Won-ki said, “I am very sorry. I won a lot of games and a lot of victories in my team for 5 years, but I was really close to my teammates. It was a family, not a foreigner. “I remember the players, teamwork, and spirit of sacrifice more than the content of the game,” he said. It is most regrettable that we could not achieve that dream together.”

Kiwoom and his companionship ended due to an unexpected injury, but life history is unknown. Just as foreign pitcher William Cuevas, who left KT due to an elbow injury in May of last year, made a comeback with his parents after a year, there is a possibility that Yokishi will recover from his injury and reunite if Kiwoom’s team situation matches in the future. Director Hong said, “I don’t know that it’s a human job. No one can guarantee when, where, or how he will meet.”

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