The World Baseball Classic (WBC) Korean national baseball team has two ‘hyeonsu’. Captain Kim Hyeon-soo (35‧ LG Twins) and Tommy Hyeon-su Edmon (28, St. Louis Cardinals), the first foreigner in the national team.
In the evaluation match between the national team and the Orix Buffaloes held at Kyocera Dome in Osaka, Japan on the 6th, Edmund was the player who received the most attention. KBS commentator Park Chan-ho, who visited the stadium, said, “Edman is the first case of a player from a different nationality playing for the Korean national team. He seems to have come as a good player.” Commissioner Park also took a commemorative photo with Edman, who returned to the dugout after training.
In an interview on the 4th, Kim Hyun-soo said, “The team atmosphere is good. Edmon, who has just joined the team, warmly approaches the players first. He is doing well,” he said. The national team players playing in the KBO League played together at a camp in Tucson, Arizona, USA in mid-February. However, Major League (MLB) players such as Edman and Kim Ha-seong (San Diego Padres) joined the Gocheok Dome training in Seoul on the 2nd and worked together with the Korean national team for the first time. Over the course of three or four days, Edmund and the other players seem to have gotten quite close.
Director Lee Kang-cheol said, “Edman is very active. He tries hard while asking Kim Ha-seong about the training,” he said. “I try to speak Korean as well. He was pleased to bring him,” he said. It was almost colorless to worry that Edmund, who had lived in the United States all his life, would be able to adapt well to the Korean national team.
Edmund, an MLB star, is proud of the Taegeuk mark and seems to enjoy it. On the evening of the 1st, when he first set foot on Korean soil, he posted a photo on social media (SNS) of eating sundaeguk with some colleagues. Edman said, “When he was young, he ate a lot of Korean food (cooked by his mother Kwak Kyung-ah). When he met a lot of new players, he said a lot of ‘Nice to meet you’. He was taught to call older players ‘Grandpa’,” he said.
Edmund’s middle name is ‘Hyeonsu’ in Korean. However, Korea is not familiar to him. All he experienced indirectly through his mother’s words and food. Even so, he is getting along well with his teammates as he has been in the national team for a long time. Even if he doesn’t communicate with words, he seems to communicate with his heart. An official from the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) said, “It might be unfamiliar to live in a Korean-style group, but I’m really adapting well.” It is a followership that respects the culture of colleagues without standing out alone. 메이저사이트
The center of the national team is Kim Hyun-soo. He was first selected for the national team at the age of 20 at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and has participated in 10 international competitions up to this WBC. It is already the fourth time that he has been captain of the national team. He takes on the role of a commander on the ground, encouraging his teammates by raising his voice at every training session.
A KBO official said, “When I was confused because of a plane glitch coming from the US to Korea, Kim Hyun-soo came forward and calmed down the players. He has great leadership off the field as well.” Kim Hyun-soo is also in charge of communicating directly with the KBO staff if there are any suggestions for the players.
The national team, led by Kim Hyun-soo and followed by Edmund, has already become the ‘one team’. The role of the two is also quite large in the lineup. Edmund appeared as the first hitter in the evaluation game against Orix on the 6th. Perhaps because it was his first real match wearing the national team uniform, Edmund recorded no hits in 4 at-bats. However, as he is a well-known player in the MLB, he put a lot of pressure on the opponent when he took the leadoff.
After the game, Edmon said, “I am satisfied with the 9 innings. I am sorry about the batting, but I think it will improve. It feels very special (wearing the Korean national team uniform). As it is an honorable position, I will bring more victories.” .
Kim Hyun-soo came on as the fourth batter and hit a heavy hit in the first at-bat in the first inning. It was a veteran hit with a batting average of 0.364 (76 hits in 209 bats) and 4 home runs in 59 games in the last 9 international competitions. National team coach Lee Kang-cheol said, “We plan to continue the batting order in the evaluation match (starting with the match against Australia on the 9th).”