“Last chance…I’m going to enjoy it,” says Kook Hae-sung after returning to the first team.
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“I know it’s my last chance and that if I fail here, I won’t get another chance. I’m going to try to relax a little bit more and enjoy it.”
Outfielder Kook Hae-sung (34, Lotte Giants), who returned to the professional first team after a series of twists and turns, shared his thoughts.
Since joining the Doosan Bears as a developmental player in 2008, Kook has been plagued by extreme bad luck. Just when he thought he had established himself, injuries would strike, most notably in 2018, when he tore his ACL and had to undergo a lengthy rehabilitation. His career numbers are .238 with 11 home runs and 66 RBIs in 214 games.
In the aftermath, Kook Hae-sung applied for free agency in the Futures (Second Division) League after the 2021 season, but no team wanted to sign him and he was informed by Doosan that he would not be re-signed.
He then joined the Seongnam MacPires of the independent league, hoping for a second chance, and after a tryout, he donned a Lotte uniform on the 22nd. He was on the radar of Lotte, who were looking to bolster their outfield with long balls.
After playing in a Futures League game on the 23rd, Kook Hae-sung was named to the first team roster on the 24th against the Busan NC Dinos. When asked before the game, he said, “I felt excited from the moment I was called up to the first team. When I came to the ballpark and trained with the first team players, I felt like, ‘I’m back. With a new mindset, I think I have nothing to lose. I’m going to try to do my best and give them a good showing. I’m going to play with passion on the field so that I can help (the team) win as much as possible,” he said. 먹튀검증
On how he feels about the atmosphere at Lotte, he said, “The first time I came here, the atmosphere was very good. The players were all cheerful, and when they were training on the field, they talked a lot and had fun while playing. It was a very good atmosphere.”
Many Lotte players welcomed Gook Hae-sung’s arrival. Among them, Ahn Kwon-soo, who played for Doosan, was reportedly the most excited.
“Everyone was so happy to see me. They all said, ‘It’s been hard. Let’s do well,'” he said, adding, “(Especially) Ahn Kwon-soo, he was very happy. He came to the baseball field first to take care of me. He adapted quickly. (Ahn) Kwon-soo is bright and gets along with people quickly. He and I also became friends (early) at Doosan,” he said with a bright smile.
Lotte has brought in a number of players through free agency this offseason, including Yoo Kang-nam and former Hanwha Eagles Shin Jeong-rak and Ahn Kwon-soo. These players are now the mainstays of Lotte’s roster.
“There were a lot of players who came as free agents and were released, and they did well,” says Kook Hae-sung. I’m going to try to blend in and do well,” he vowed.
He was told by head coach Larry Sutton to ‘relax and have fun and not put any pressure on himself,’ but at 34 years old, he doesn’t have many opportunities.
“Actually, I’ve felt the need to survive so much. “I know I have to do that, but this is my last chance,” he said, “If I fail here, I won’t get another chance. I know I have to do that, but I’m in my last chance, and I know that if I fall here, I won’t get another chance, so I’m trying to be a little more relaxed and enjoy it.”
Meanwhile, Kook Hae-sung had one strikeout in the Busan NC on April 24, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Lotte’s 1-3 loss. It will be interesting to see if he can continue to swing the bat for the rest of the season and lead Lotte to a strong finish.
“I know it’s my last chance and that if I fail here, I won’t get another chance. I’m going to try to relax a little bit more and enjoy it.” Outfielder Kook Hae-sung (34, Lotte Giants), who returned to the professional first team after a series of twists and turns, shared his thoughts. Since joining…