Samsung Lions infielder Ryu Ji-hyuk 토토꽁포인트 (29) smiled, referring to KIA Tigers players who are now former teammates. When Ryu Ji-hyuk heard that he would be traded to Samsung on the morning of the 5th, he hurriedly packed up and moved to Pohang. For the past three years, he changed from red to blue without enough time to greet the friendly KIA players.
In fact, KIA is the second team to Ryu Ji-hyuk. The first professional team was the Doosan Bears. After graduating from Chungam High School, he was nominated by Doosan as the 36th-ranked player in the fourth round of the 2012 rookie draft and played before being traded to KIA during the 2020 season. Compared to Doosan, it is true that there was much less time to build affection with KIA colleagues, but the second breakup was not easy.
Ryu Ji-hyuk said, “I tried it once, but I couldn’t get used to it. I thought, “Oh, I’m going again.” The trade seems to be very difficult. Half and half. Half good and half hard. “What I always feel is that if I think I’ve adjusted, I’m going because I need a team, and if I think I’ve adjusted, I’m going because I need a team,” he said, expressing the difficulty of sudden change.
KIA junior Kim Do-young talks about Ryu Ji-hyuk in front of reporters on the day of the trade He even blushed. Even though Ryu Ji-hyuk knew Kim Do-young’s tears, he tried to calmly pass them over and said, “KIA asked the kids to play happy baseball. After some time, we will definitely get good results and win. We were all doing this together. But I think I should do it here (Samsung) because I was traded. “You guys do it there, I’ll do it here,” he said with a smile.
Ryu Ji-hyuk reported his first hit and RBI for Samsung in the bottom of the eighth inning, hitting a timely double directly to the right-center fence with two outs and a runner on first base, trailing 2-7 against the Doosan Bears in Pohang on the 5th. The next batter Lee Sung-kyu scored on a timely double to the left of the left field and even scored his first goal of the transfer.
Ryu Ji-hyuk looked back on his first hit at Samsung and said, “It was the first time I hit the fence this year. KIA members also called me. “Why do you play at Samsung instead of KIA?” he explained with a smile. It was not the whining of his former teammates about whether KIA should have produced such a ball often.
Three years ago, Doosan colleagues and KIA colleagues especially voiced regret when they sent Ryu Ji-hyuk away. Even though it is an annual trade, the fact that Ryu Ji-hyuk has such colleagues can be interpreted as meaning that Ryu Ji-hyuk is good at living in the team.
Ryu Ji-hyuk said, “It’s important to show your skills on the baseball field, but I think it’s also important to look outside.” That’s how you decide what face you’ll make a person like me. I care about that, but I don’t think I lived a vain baseball life because I watched it. I think we should do better in the future,” he said calmly.
Now, Ryu Ji-hyuk is planning to make another new connection at Samsung. Oh Jae-il, who played with Doosan, and Koo Ja-wook, who played with the youth baseball team, are reliable. Ryu Ji-hyuk will play as the first baseman for the time being on behalf of Oh Jae-il, who left due to a hamstring injury on the 6th, and will play as the starting third baseman in the long run.
Ryu Ji-hyuk wants to do his best so that his first son, Lee Hyun-yi, who was proud of his father as a KIA Tigers player in Gwangju, can now brag about his father as a Samsung Lions player.
Ryu Ji-hyuk said, “I’m going to play baseball here that I couldn’t play in KIA.” “I want to be a comfortable senior by getting closer to my juniors and playing baseball like that,” he said. “There is a player who stands out by taking a spot, and the team needs a player like me (all-weather) to run.” “I think a player like me can stand out,” he said, vowing to do his best in the given mission depending on the situation.