“I feel like I’m back in high school.”
Until last season, Choi Jae-hoon was the oldest member of the Hanwha Eagles’ field team, but this year, when many “brothers” joined, he looks quite different. Lee Myung-ki, who was injured, returned, and Kim Kang-min, the “senior” will also wear Hanwha uniforms. Above all, I’m glad to see Lee Jae-won in the same position.
When I met him at the Melbourne Ball Park in Australia, where Hanwha’s spring camp is being held, Choi said, “I massage him every time I warm up. I’ve never done it with him in high school, but I was a freshman when he was a senior, and I feel like I’m back in high school.” “I keep lying down because it’s so cool. I do it every day,” Choi said with a smile.
Soon after, he said, “I feel comfortable because Jaewon hyung is here. I have a lot to learn, and maybe I do, but it’s better because the players below me have a lot to learn.” “I think Jaewon hyung is the winning catcher. He talks a lot about pitchers, too.”
Lee Jae-won, who may not be familiar with the Hanwha team yet, is also relying on Choi Jae-hoon. Lee Jae-won said, “Jae-hoon tries to help me a lot, both at the ballpark and on the outside. I’m thankful that he was nice to me first. And since I get a lot of balls, I talk a lot about pitchers.”
“I’m going to share a lot of opinions, especially with new pitchers and rookies like (Hwang) Jun-seo, how do you want them to throw it? I think this is good,” he said. “I’m also asking a lot about pitchers that I don’t know, so I’m grateful for that.”
As Lee Jae-won came to share some of the burden, but Choi Jae-hoon is still one of the players who has a lot of things to do for the team. Choi Jae-hoon said, “The club made good conditions, but I showed a lot of bad performances over the past two years (after the FA contract). Now I have to be good, and I have to lead my juniors. As a veteran, I have a lot to do. I have to raise young players as well, not just me.”
First of all, I am satisfied with the performance at the spring camp. “The pitchers have improved a lot because they practiced a lot. When I was receiving the ball, I felt proud that the players prepared a lot,” Choi said. “Lee Choong-ho has improved, and I think he will really improve if he gets more strength. I still need to practice more, but I think he is a good pitcher.”
When asked about his priority for this season, Choi Jae-hoon said, “I think the biggest thing is for the team to go up.” He said, “I need to do well, but I think young players will gain confidence only when the team goes up and plays fall baseball. If it goes up gradually like that, I think we can become a stronger team and look at the championship.” 꽁머니