Some people’s hearts were as hot as the weather, which reached 36 degrees Celsius. Some might call them amateur hobbyists, but they were national team members who wore their colors on their chests at international competitions.
“When I hear the national anthem, there’s something that just boils up inside of me, especially ‘For the people for the people,’ and it brings tears to my eyes.” During the national anthem, the players removed their hats and placed their hands on their chests. They closed their eyes and vowed to win. Pitcher Lee Ji-sook prayed, “Please let us win today so that girls can play baseball in a good environment.
The players had bruises all over their bodies from being hit by the opposing pitcher’s pitches that were out of control. The evening of the game, outfielder Ahn Soo-ji’s legs were covered in bruises. “There’s never a day when you don’t get bruised in baseball, right?” “Yeah, that’s right.” She shrugged it off. It didn’t matter to her. She could get on base as the number one hitter.
At the end of March, when the cherry blossoms were in full bloom, the players gathered at the baseball field to train all day instead of going out to 스포츠토토 see them. “The sin of loving baseball more than cherry blossoms,” someone said. For the next three months, they gave up their weekends to prepare for the international tournament. Catcher and captain Choi Min-hee said, “The national team is a place that makes me feel excited just thinking about it.” She had to leave her young daughter at home to train.
The office workers took “annual leave” and traveled to Hong Kong in late May, where the 2023 Asian Cup (BFA) will be held. The high school and college athletes asked their schools for permission. Catcher Lee Bait-na changed her job so she could focus on her love of baseball.
“I’m in tears because I’m 40 years old.” National team pitching coach Lee Dong-hyun couldn’t hide his emotions at the team’s struggle. Baseball coaches Jung Geun-woo and Heo Il-sang burst into tears after the women’s national team qualified for the World Baseball Classic with a win over the Philippines. Coach Heo Il-sang said, “Women baseball players are not paid to play baseball. I could feel their love for baseball so much that I couldn’t help but cry,” she said.
There was a lot of pressure and responsibility. Before the game, the players’ faces were tense as they wondered if losing to the Philippines and not qualifying for the World Championship would hinder the development of women’s baseball. That’s why the players cried so much after the win against the Philippines. There was a lot in those tears.
None of the female baseball players have been playing baseball comfortably. None of them hasn’t been met with a mixture of curiosity and skepticism at the thought of a woman playing baseball. There are only 45 women’s social baseball teams in the country. I’ve traveled all over the country to play. There aren’t many places to play baseball in Seoul.
And yet, they all invest their own money and time to play baseball. They pay to go to lessons and climb mountains with sandbags to see how they can get better. If they don’t have the space, they go to their apartment parking lot at night and swing a bat. She does this because she loves playing with that little ball that weighs 141 grams. If you don’t love it, you’ll never do it. “I live by my instincts.” Baseball is their “instinct,” as team captain Choi Min-hee says. It’s an instinct that keeps them going even when they’re worried about the future.
A poet once said that “youth” is not a period of life, but a fresh passion that springs from a deep spring of life with a strong will. When I saw them, I felt it. It was youth.