Even if student athletes wear only professional uniforms through the rookie draft, they are evaluated as a great success, like going through the eye of a needle. In addition, stepping on the ground of the first team baseball field and playing in the game is an opportunity that is allowed only to a smaller number of players.
However, there is a stage where the opportunity is given to step on the ground of the 1st team baseball field and play an official game even before joining the pros. It is the Shinsegae E-Mart Cup National High School Baseball Championship. The E-Mart Cup High School Baseball Tournament, which started in 2022, will be held at Munhak SSG Landers Field. Student players who have reached the finals of this competition get an opportunity to experience the baseball field in advance, where they can play on the professional stage.
Student athletes from Deoksu High School and Gangneung High School,안전놀이터 who reached the finals of the 2nd E-Mart Cup High School Baseball Championship held on April 11, also looked at every corner of SSG Landers Field and nurtured their dreams to the professional stage.
Players from both teams spent time looking around the clubhouse of the SSG Landers players before the game. Student athletes poured out exclamations while walking around the indoor practice range, weight training facility, sleeping room, sauna, and locker room that were remodeled last year. In particular, upon entering the locker room, I couldn’t take my eyes off the seats of stars representing the league, such as Choo Shin-soo, Kim Gwang-hyeon, and Kim Kang-min. As if imagining the moment when their names will be hung in the locker room someday.
On this day, the final, which was held with a dramatic reversal and a great finish, ended with Deoksu High School winning. Director Jeong Yun-jin of Deoksu High School said, “I think it will be a good memory for the children to use the professional baseball field they have dreamed of since childhood. You will be motivated to go pro and play baseball in such a good environment. I am grateful to owner Jeong Yong-jin and the officials of the tournament for giving me such a good opportunity.”
Deoksu High School outfielder Baek Jun-seo, who was chosen as the MVP of the tournament, smiled, saying, “I was excited all the time preparing for the game with my teammates because I thought I could play here again in the future.”
Behind the successful E-Mart High School Baseball Championship, owner Jeong Yong-jin’s love for baseball is full. After the establishment of SSG Landers, owner Jeong Yong-jin signed major league stars such as Choo Shin-soo and Kim Kwang-hyun, and made unprecedented investments such as franchise star non-FA multi-year contracts, major league-level clubhouse renewal, and Futures air-conditioning and air-conditioning system construction. It was the first baseball team related to it, and it achieved the first place in the number of home spectators.
‘Yong Jin-hyung’s love for baseball did not end with the pros. In Ama Baseball, the grassroots of Korean baseball, the E-Mart Cup high school baseball tournament was established with the love of owner Jeong Yong-jin. In addition, in November every year, the ‘No Brand Cup High School Alumni Baseball Tournament’ is held to expand the base of Amaya Baseball and support scholarships for the alma mater baseball team.
In particular, the E-Mart Cup High School Baseball Tournament set a prize money of 100 million won by increasing the size of the prize money compared to the original plan at the invitational competition to improve performance. This year, 100 million won was supported to expand the motivation of schools and student athletes.
Owner Jeong Yong-jin, who pitched the first pitch in the E-Mart Cup final last year, said in a commemorative speech at the 2nd E-Mart Cup tournament, “I hope that the young players playing in the E-Mart Cup tournament will become the present, not the future of Korean baseball.” expressed affection.
Now, the E-Mart Cup high school baseball tournament is a clear signal that announces the start of the high school baseball season of the year. Since spring is the season in which the tournament is held, it is also a stage where you can see the dreams of student athletes who are starting to sprout before turning professional in a warm gaze. In this way, Literature SSG Landers Field became the favorite space of ‘Yong Jin-hyung’, where he could contain both the present and future of Korean baseball.