“It was difficult when I first went to America.”
When I asked Ha-seong Kim (28, San Diego Padres) why he takes good care of Tommy Hyun-soo Edman (28, St. Louis Cardinals), this is the answer he returned. Ha-seong Kim and Edmund have always been close together since the 2nd when they joined the national team training together. Although he spends a lot of time with the Keystone Combi in charge of the national team’s center line, Ha-seong Kim does not want to leave Edmon alone on the ground, in the dugout, or in the locker room as much as possible.
Edmund is the first Korean-American baseball player to wear the Taegeuk mark. He is an outstanding player on the ground enough to win the National League second baseman Gold Glove in 2021, but communication with Korean players is bound to be difficult. Thanks to his Korean mother, he is exposed to Korean culture, but it is difficult to communicate fluently. Ha-seong Kim wanted Edmund to quickly feel a sense of belonging.
Ha-seong Kim said, “I tried to talk while being next to him as much as possible. When I first went to America, it was difficult, so I thought it would be nice if I didn’t feel that kind of emotion as much as possible, so I think I’m sticking around.”
Kim Ha-seong is actively informing Edmon, who is unfamiliar with the Korean national team, about various things, from team culture to tactical signs. Edmund is narrowing the distance with the players by actively asking Ha-seong Kim whenever he has questions.
The Japanese baseball team also has a combination comparable to Kim Ha-seong and Edmund. ‘Superstar’ Ohtani Shohei (29, LA Angels) and Lars Lars Taylor Tatsuji Nutba (28, St. Louis Cardinals) are the main characters. On the 5th, Ohtani trained with some of the Japanese national team players at the Maishima Buffalo Stadium indoor training ground in Osaka, Japan. Nuthba went to Ohtani’s training area separately and talked more and laughed for a while.
Nutba, like Edmund, is the first Japanese-American player to be selected as Samurai Japan (an alias for the Japanese baseball team). If there was a difference, it was the welcome temperature. While Korea greatly welcomed Edmund’s joining, Japan did not welcome the selection of Nutba. It was to the extent that public opinion was formed for and against the selection of Nutba in Japan.
Ohtani acted as a special helper so that Nutba could quickly melt into the national team. According to Japanese media, when Nutba joined on the 3rd, Ohtani asked coach Kuriyama and other Japanese coaches to “take care of Nutba better than me.” 토토사이트
Korea and Japan chose to break the pure-blood principle and strengthen their strength by selecting Edmon and Nutba, respectively. In addition, Kim Ha-seong and Ohtani, who will play an active role as the main axis of their respective national teams, voluntarily volunteered as helpers, making it easy to harmonize the team.
Lee Kang-cheol, coach of the Korean national baseball team, said, “He is active, tries to speak Korean, and works hard on defense. I really appreciate that. It was good to bring (Edmon)”, and coach Kuriyama said, “It is also a message to children. If you naturally get along with people from other countries from the beginning, I think sports have something to do in an era where there is still a war. It may sound smug, but I think the WBC also has that meaning. .
Meanwhile, on the 6th, the four players will go through their first actual inspection after joining the national team. Ha-seong Kim and Edman will play an evaluation match against Orix Buffaloes of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) at 12:00 noon at Kyocera Dome in Osaka, and Otani and Nutba will play an evaluation match against Hanshin Tigers at 6:00 pm at the same place. Ohtani comes out as a batter.