“I offer up my right arm.” “I will return the love you gave me 1,000 times.”
Chuncheon-based super pitcher Kim Hwi-geon 먹튀검증(Whimoon High School), who was selected by the NC Dinos as the 5th pick in the first round in the Korean Professional Baseball 2024 Rookie Draft held on the 15th, once again proved that he is a ‘prepared professional’ with his acceptance speech. On the 17th, three days after the draft, I met Kim, who had excellent skills and was ranked 5th overall out of 1,083 draftees this year, at the indoor gymnasium of the ‘National Basketball Classroom’ in Toegye-dong, Chuncheon, which is run by his parents.
Kim said, “I was born in Changwon, but I played Chuncheon Little Baseball, Soyang Elementary School, and Chuncheon Middle School elite baseball and laid the foundation under the guidance of coaches Lee Sang-hyun (former Hyundai Unicorns) and Hwang Min-jung and Cho Nam-hyun, and as I went on to Bukil High School and Whimoon High School, I became who I am today. “It came to be,” he said. Both Changwon, which is related to NC, and Chuncheon, which is related to Kim Hwi-gun, now possess the ‘precious’ resources of Korean professional baseball.
Kim, who said that the detailed guidance and love of his parents, both former athletes (his father, Kim Man-seok, was a member of the youth basketball team, and his mother, Jeong Yun-sook, was a former member of the women’s professional basketball team), made him who he is today, saying, “Now, I am returning the favor as a professional athlete.” He promised, “I will continue my career as a player while keeping the point that you emphasized that as my skills improve, I should not be arrogant.”
Regarding the impressive games during his career, he said, “In the round of 16 of last year’s E-Mart Cup, he pitched 5 and 2/3 innings of no-hit, no-run against Sekwang High School and started as the final starter, and in the quarterfinals of the Golden Lion Cup, he hit a top speed of 152.5 km/h against Gyeongnam High School. “I remember when I recorded it,” he said.
Lastly, Kim presented his dream, saying, “I want to grow well as a professional baseball player and contribute to building baseball infrastructure like Son Heung-min’s soccer school so that capable juniors can continue to come out in Gangwon-do and Chuncheon in the future.”