Comedian and entertainment 메이저놀이터“godfather” Lee Kyung-kyu, 63, is famously known for not having a single bad word in his nearly 40 years in the entertainment industry. Even he felt a strange sensation when he received the Merit Award at the MBC Broadcasting Entertainment Awards in 2022 and was applauded by his juniors.
At the time, Lee Kyung-kyu said, “Leave when they clap? That’s crazy. I’ll keep going until even one person claps,” he said. He said, “Why would you leave the broadcasting industry when there are people who support you and want you? It’s natural for people to want to do something for a long time. Usually, artists who receive merit awards at year-end awards shows are either nearing retirement or have already left.
Lee’s comments, mixed with his signature “entertainment rage,” should give veteran technologists who have left the field a lot to think about. The 41-year-old trio of Choo Shin-soo, Kim Kang-min (SSG Landers), and Oh Seung-hwan (Samsung Lions), the oldest players in the KBO, may have similar thoughts.
In the bottom of the ninth inning of the third game of the semifinals against the NC Dinos on May 25, Choo Shin-soo was seen by the broadcasters in the dugout with tears welling up in his eyes. The true meaning of those tears, perhaps only Kim Kang-min and Oh Seung-hwan know.
Regrets about this season, regrets about his performance, and the good and sad things that happened in the three years since joining SSG must have flashed through his mind like a panorama. Choo Shin-soo is human and cannot always perform well and make fans smile. However, a player’s competitive spirit has nothing to do with seniority, age, or competitiveness.
Anyway, at this time of year, the lives of Choo, Kim Kang-min, and Oh Seung-hwan naturally attract attention. They want to play as long as they can, and they’ve actually taken care of their bodies to get to this point. If they’re big enough, their clubs will allow them to make their own decisions. In a similar sense, the Los Angeles Dodgers are waiting patiently for Clayton Kershaw (35).
Choo Shin-soo, Kim Kang-min, and Oh Seung-hwan are clearly lacking in athleticism and consistency, regardless of their numbers and stats. In the case of SSG, there is also the fact that the rebuilding is not smooth due to the overabundance of veteran beasts. Of course, Choo Shin-soo and Kim Kang-min know that.
However, Lee Kyung-kyu’s feelings on the award are likely to be shared, so it’s a tough call. Choo Shin-soo, Kim Kang-min, and Oh Seung-hwan have also been applauded throughout their careers, so it takes time to read the subtle changes in meaning. It’s not a decision to be made on a whim, especially when a person’s life is at stake and the decision has a huge impact on the club.
So both the club and the fans need to be patient. If Lotte Tae-hyung was the first hero of the offseason, they may be the second.