Lee Yu-jin, a national team player raised by Heroes, “It’s an honor to throw the first pitch for a team I’ve supported wholeheartedly for 11 years” 

Following her baseball-loving father, from the age of 7 she naturally came into contact with baseball through TV broadcasts. She then held her father’s hand and often visited the Mok-dong baseball field near her house.

One day, on her way back home after watching a baseball game, she saw a sign saying ‘Heroes Little Baseball Team Recruiting Child Members’ and decided to play baseball herself. Even when she was among the boys, she threw the ball bravely.바카라사이트

She threw a baseball for over 8 years, and she became a national representative wearing her Taegeuk mark on her chest and participating in international competitions. This is the story of Lee Yoo-jin (17), a pitcher on the Korean women’s baseball team.

The days when Lee Yu-jin, the national women’s baseball team, played for the Heroes Little Baseball Team. In her first row, her female student is Lee Yu-jin. Photo courtesy | Yujin Lee.

At the invitation of Kiwoom Heroes, national pitcher Lee Yu-jin threw the first pitch in a home game against the Samsung Lions at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on the 28th.

Lee Yoo-jin, who greeted the Kiwoom fans before climbing the mound, said, “I have dreamed of becoming a baseball player while watching Heroes games since I was a child. It’s such an honor to be able to throw the first pitch at Gocheok Dome like this after more than 10 years.”

Lee Yu-jin said, “There is a saying in baseball, ‘It’s not over until it’s over.’ I hope Kiwoom succeeds in overturning at the end of the second half and goes up to a higher place. Kiwoom fighting!” and went up the mound.

Lee Yoo-jin, who was contacted by Sports Seoul after the first pitch, laughed, saying, “I threw a fastball, but I was nervous and it got a little out of my hand and bent.”

On this day, there was an assistant before the first pitch. It is Kim Dong-heon (19), a new catcher of Kiwoom and proudly selected as the national representative of the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games (AG).

Kim Dong-hun and Lee Yu-jin are seniors and juniors of the Little Baseball Team in Yeongdeungpo-gu. The period they played together was not long, but they went back and forth saying hello. Lee Yoo-jin, who played for the Yeongdeungpo-gu Little Baseball Team for two years from 2018, often said, “I am proud that my older brother, who has been throwing baseballs with me since childhood, joined a professional baseball team and even became a national representative.”

Lee Yu-jin said, “I went to the Gocheok Dome bullpen pitching pitch to practice pitching. There he met (Kim) Dong-heon’s brother. His brother also recognized me and said ‘long time no see’. That’s how I played catch with Dongheon oppa for about 15 minutes.”

Kim Dong-heon, like the national team catcher, sat down and took Lee Yu-jin’s ball leisurely. Lee Yu-jin said, “Dongheon oppa recognized at once that I gripped my four-seam fastball differently. In my case, I catch it a little differently from others, but I throw it like that because I have a good balance this way.”

Lee Yu-jin, who said, “I was much more nervous than the international competition,” said, “Although the Heroes haven’t won yet, I have always been with them for the past 11 years with all my heart, even when they won runner-up and third place. It’s an honor to throw the first pitch for a team I really like. I think I was good at playing baseball,” he said. Since Lee Yu-jin is now 17 years old and a sophomore in high school, he has been with Heroes for more than half of his life.

Lee Yu-jin, who was selected for the national team for the first time last year and is in her second year this year, pitched in three games at the ‘2023 Women’s Baseball Asian Cup (BFA)’ held in Hong Kong at the end of May, pitched two scoreless innings, and won a valuable bronze medal for Korea. .

On August 6, she will head to Thunder Bay, Canada for the qualifiers for the ‘2024 Women’s Baseball World Cup (WBSC)’. Under coach Yang Sang-moon, 20 national women’s baseball players, including Lee Yu-jin, have been training hard to advance to the finals of the tournament, sweating in heavy rain and heat.

Lee Yu-jin said, “I want to impress the people. The national team did well in the Asian Cup, but I want to do even better in the world tournament and advance to the finals. My goal is to promote women’s baseball on the big stage and become a popular sport like women’s volleyball,” she said with determination.

Meanwhile, the Korean women’s national baseball team will play a qualifying match for five consecutive days from the 9th (Korean time) to the 13th. Korea was placed in Group A of the preliminary round with Canada, the United States, Australia, Hong Kong and Mexico. The goal of the national team is to rekindle the hope of advancing to the finals with 3 wins and 2 losses.

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