Yang Eui-ji (36), who was not a catcher at Gwangju Jinheung High School, was nominated in the second 8th round by Doosan during the 2006 professional baseball draft. His down payment is 30 million won. He said, “Just being able to play in the pros was like a dream.”
While 17 years have passed since then, Yang Eui-ji has become the best catcher in the KBO League. Ahead of the 2019 season, he qualified as a free agent (FA) and signed a four-year contract with NC for 12.5 billion won, the highest ever for a catcher. And at the end of last year, 4+2 years, he returned to Doosan with an unprecedented treatment of up to 15.2 billion won. Yang Eui-ji is the player who made the most money with an FA contract in the history of professional baseball.
The initiation ceremony held at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on the 11th showed Yang Eui-ji’s status as a ‘precious body’. CEO Jeon Pung put on a uniform, and director Lee Seung-yeop delivered a bouquet of flowers. He shared a deep hug with colleagues Kim Jae-hwan and Heo Gyeong-min, who built the Doosan Dynasty together. Her wife Oh Hyeon-joo (36) and her first daughter Soyul (7) attended the event, as well as Doosan mascot Cheol-woong, whom Soyul said she likes.
Doosan, which advanced to the Korean Series for seven consecutive years from 2015 to 2021, fell to ninth last year due to a series of power leaks and injuries to players. Yang Eui-ji said, “As an opposing team, Doosan hit home runs well, stole bases well, and had a strong defense, so it was a difficult team to deal with.” I want to gather strength with my colleagues and finish this year with a good ranking.” “My goal every year is to win. I want to give my all to my juniors. I will help Doosan become a strong team again.”
Yang Eui-ji was Doosan’s winning catcher in 2015 and 2016. In 2020, when he was a member of NC, he defeated Doosan and won the Korean Series championship ring once again. He said, “At the time, I was so emotional that I cried a lot. So he thought, ‘I’m going to be hated by the Doosan fans’, but instead he said, ‘I hope you come again’. I think I was able to come back with that kind of strength.” 바카라
Coach Lee, who took command of Doosan after the end of last season, cited reinforcement of catchers as the key to the team’s revival upon taking office. Then, even Park Jeong-won, the owner, directly started recruiting Yang Eui-ji. Yang Eui-ji’s return is a kind of inauguration gift. Yang Eui-ji said, “After being discharged from the National Police Agency baseball team (2009), I first met the coach who was playing as a Yomiuri player at the Miyazaki camp in Japan. Even though he was a recognized star, he came to do night workouts every evening. He learned that he always has to work harder.”
Yang Eui-ji, who is also the main catcher in the World Baseball Classic (WBC) held in March, started training earlier than usual. Yang Eui-ji said, “I didn’t get good results in the national team, such as the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. Nevertheless, I am grateful to Director Lee Kang-cheol (KT) for choosing me. I am sharpening my sword so that I can restore my honor at this WBC.”