“Remembering my respected high school teacher”… 7th → 56th uniform number change, 33-year-old good luck king
“My respected teacher’s uniform number was 56.”
Shin Bong-gi (33), infielder of the kt Wiz, qualified for a free agent (FA) after the 2022 season. There was some labor pain, but the new bon gi remained at kt. It was a condition to receive a total of 300 million won for 1+1 years.
In the middle of the 2021 season, Shin Bong-ki came over as a trade from the Lotte Giants and contributed to kt’s combined victory. However, in the 2022 season, he only had 0.182 with 22 hits, 1 home run and 28 RBIs in 74 games. He played fewer than 100 games for three consecutive seasons, and his 22 hits is the lowest since his debut season (2012 season), when he recorded 6 hits.
Shin Bong-gi was not invited to the kt 1st team spring camp held in Arizona, USA. It is the first time since his debut that Shinbongi prepares for a season in the 2nd team instead of the 1st team.
Shin Bong-gi, who we met at the kt Future Steam Spring Camp training ground in Iksan on the 6th, said, “This is the first group camp since his debut. There are difficult parts. However, (Moon) Sang-cheol and (Kim) Byeong-hee and I told us to do well, so we are continuing training at our own pace.”
He continued, “The schedule itself is very tight. He bats without a break, and continues to exercise and move while waiting. After weight training, running, defense training in the morning, lunch, batting training, long tee training, and night training, there is no time to rest. That’s why the players struggle all day long,” he laughed.
Before I know it, I am approaching my mid-30s. He is more than 10 years older than the rookies who joined this year.
He said, “When I first came in, it would be the feeling of seeing senior Cho Seong-hwan. I can’t help but think of my juniors. He is paying attention because he has to show an undisturbed appearance as a veteran. He is focused and careful when training both in words and actions.” 바카라
The poor performance of the 2022 season returned to a somewhat disappointing free agent contract. Except for kt, there was no club that made an offer to Shinbongi.
Shin Bong-gi said, “In fact, it did not receive good reviews in the market. I thought I wouldn’t be able to play baseball without kt. It was not an easy situation. So I think I need to get better at baseball. I am not a player with a seat. I have to show myself to be good at even one game, so I can live on my own.”
Shin Bong-gi changed his uniform number from 7 to 56 ahead of the 2023 season. Number 7 is played by Kim Sang-soo, who came to kt after receiving a total of 2.9 billion won for 4 years from the Samsung Lions. Number 56 is not an awkward number. When he was playing for Lotte, he had worn number 56 prior to number 7. The number he picked in his professional debut season was number 56.
He said, “I had the heart to concede to Sang-soo, but he was originally thinking about changing his uniform number. I wore number 56 when I was a rookie, but I chose it because I wanted to go back to the beginning. Number 56 was the number of coach Jeon Kwang-ryeol, who is now the coach of Gyeongnam High School. He is the one who helped me a lot.”
Shin Bong-gi, who continued to speak, said, “The technical part is the same, but he is the one who taught me how to live mentally and outside of baseball. I respect you a lot. He is the one who did everything through actions, not words. If there are players who have seen the coach from the side, there will be no players who do not think so. So in the past, there were many cases where Gyeongnam High School graduates wore number 56. I also wore number 56 out of respect.”
Shin Bong-gi said, “There is no player who wants to be in the second team. I just want to prepare well and be in the first team from start to finish. Rather than thinking about competing with anyone, I believe that if I prepare myself well and show good skills, I will be able to go out when the team wants to.”