High school and college prospects who will shape the future of Korean baseball gathered in Daejeon. The Hanwha Eagles organized the “Hanwha Eagles Baseball High School vs. College All-Star Game” for the first time in Korea.
More than 1,000 메이저사이트 spectators gathered at the Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon on June 6 to watch the high school and college all-star game. The game, which started at 1 p.m., overlapped with the KBO League’s three-pitch game at 2 p.m., but the live broadcast by the Hanwha team attracted more than 5,000 concurrent viewers.
In addition to the 10 KBO clubs, scouts from the U.S. Major League Baseball were on hand to observe the players. It was a great opportunity to see some of Korea’s top baseball prospects in one place. It was a showcase stage for the players to show off their skills, and their attitude toward the game was not like an all-star game where they were laughing and enjoying themselves. It was a war-like battle to beat each other.
Not only the players, but also the coaches of the high school team, Lee Young-bok and Chung Am-go, and the college team, Lee Dong-myung, had a fierce bench battle. The university team took the lead in the second inning with runners on first and second, but the high school team responded with a big six-run inning in the fifth, capitalizing on back-to-back sacrifice bunts. Trailing 5-6 in the top of the ninth, the college team got Lee Seung-min (Whimungo) to ground into an automatic double play to end the inning, and Jeon Damin (Youngdong University) tied the game with an RBI triple with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to send the game into extra innings.
In the top of the 10th inning, Lee Young-bok requested a video review, and in the bottom of the 10th inning, Lee made a surprise squeeze sign with one out. The bunt failed, leaving only the runner on third base, and the game ended in a 6-6 tie. The game was a thriller until the end. After the game, Lee Young-bok said, “I’m sorry we didn’t win. Shouldn’t we play until we win?” he laughed.
Jeong Min-hyuk, head of Hanwha’s scouting team, who organized the All-Star Game for the first time, said, “I’m glad we had a good first tournament. The players had a lot of fun and showed a good response.” “Thanks to the support of the clubs and the association. We hope that more players will be recognized through such opportunities in the future.”
Chung Hyun-soo (Songwon University), the MVP of the collegiate pitching competition. /Courtesy of the Hanwha Eagles
Go Dae-rae (Chung-Ang University), the MVP of the collegiate hitter category. /Provided by Hanwha Eagles
This motivated the college players, who were less interested in the game than their high school counterparts. Youngdong University outfielder Jeon Damin, who was named MVP for his dramatic tying hit in the bottom of the ninth inning, said, “I’m grateful to Hanwha for organizing a game like this. I hope other friends can have such a meaningful experience next year. I would also like to ask for more attention to high school and college baseball players who are doing their best to become professional baseball players.”
For the high school players, it was an unforgettable experience and memory. Hwang Jun-seo (Jang Chung-go), a left-handed pitcher who pitched two scoreless innings with two hits, two walks, and one strikeout for his high school team, said, “I’ve played scrimmages with college teams, but this was my first time facing college brothers who were All-Stars. I learned a lot and it was a good experience.”
Outfielder Lee Seung-min, who was awarded the honorable mention after going 2-for-5 with a double and a walk, said, “I’m happy to get a good award for my first All-Star game. I had fun playing with my friends who have good skills. It was a fun day.”
Park Ki-ho (Cheongju), MVP of the high school team pitcher category
High school team MVP Park Ji-hwan (Saeadang).
With the abolition of the KBO’s first round rookie draft and the implementation of an open draft, Hanwha was looking for new ways to support amateur baseball outside of its hometown.
Knowing the difficulties of the amateur scene, team manager Jung Min-hyuk came up with the idea of an all-star game to motivate student-athletes, which Hanwha fully supported and co-hosted with the Korea Baseball Softball Association (KBSA). The Korean Collegiate Baseball Federation also actively cooperated, and Hanwha covered all expenses, including transportation and lodging, for the participating players.
“Supporting the development of amateur baseball is the role and obligation of a professional baseball team,” Hanwha said, promising to make the event a regular event rather than a one-off.