Ahn Kwon-soo (29), the ‘charge leader’ of the professional baseball Lotte Giants, announced his farewell to Lotte fans at Sajik Stadium in Busan. Ahn Kwon-soo played his last game at Sajik Stadium, thanking the fans for their passionate support over the past year.
Lotte played its last home game of the 2023 season at Sajik Stadium in Busan on the 11th. Even though it was a mid-week game, close to 10,000 spectators entered Sajik Stadium. Lotte won 14-3 against the Doosan Bears on this day. Lotte ends the 2023 season with four away games in Gwangju and Daejeon.
On this day, Ahn Kwon-soo started as the number one hitter and left fielder. At Sajik Stadium, Ahn Kwon-soo’s song ‘Never Ending Story’ of the group’s revival rang out. ‘If you miss me, I hope that something like the movie you meet someday will come true~’ Fans who visited Sajik Stadium cheered on Ahn Kwon-soo’s performance by singing along to the song he appeared in. An Kwon-soo only had no hits in five at-bats, but he contributed to the team’s victory with his generous play in the outfield defense.
The breakup between Ahn Kwon-soo and Lotte was a predictable step. According to the current Military Service Act (Article 128), Ahn Kwon-soo (born in 1993), a third-generation Korean living in Japan, will have his second-generation overseas Korean status revoked and converted to an overseas migrant if he stays in the country for more than three years. Accordingly, if he does not fulfill his military service obligation, he will be restricted from commercial activities and period of stay in Korea. He is in a position where he must enlist in the military within this year if he wants to continue playing in the KBO league. After this season’s KBO league, Ahn Kwon-soo is expected to return to Japan, where his wife and son are, to rest and make future plans.
Ahn Kwon-soo, who played in the Japanese independent league, debuted in Korea by being selected by Doosan Bess with the 99th overall pick in the 10th round of the 2020 KBO Rookie Draft. Ahn Kwon-soo quickly adapted to Korean baseball with his unique sincerity and lively personality. Ahn Kwon-soo was released from Doosan after the end of last season, and Lotte signed a contract with Ahn Kwon-soo, who has one year remaining in Korea, for an annual salary of 80 million won.
After the game on the 11th, Ahn Kwon-su shed tears that he had been holding back and expressed his gratitude to the fans who chanted for him. The fans did not leave and applauded for a while even after the game ended.
Ahn Kwon-soo opened his mouth and said, “First and foremost, I feel sorry to the fans.” Kwon-soo Ahn confessed, “I thought I would be 안전놀이터able to play fall baseball for sure since I finished April in first place in the league,” and “I kept thinking that the team’s performance was poor and that it was because of me suffering from an elbow injury.”
He also expressed his gratitude to his teammates who shared hardships and hardships throughout the year. Kwonsu Ahn said, “I think the past four years in Korea will remain as unforgettable memories for the rest of my life. All of my colleagues have been really good to me, and I am especially grateful to my juniors for following along well.” Ahn Kwon-soo shed tears, saying, “I will miss Dong-hee (Yoon Dong-hee) and Min-seok (Kim Min-seok), who I stayed with in the dorm, so much.”