Those responsible for the ‘present’ of the Lotte Giants gathered in front of the eternal ‘baseball hero’.
On the 12th, a memorial event was held in front of the statue of Choi Dong-won in front of Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the death of the late Choi Dong-won (hereinafter Choi Dong-won).바카라
Hosted by the Choi Dong-won Memorial Association (hereinafter referred to as the Memorial Association), the event was attended by Lotte team representative Lee Kang-hoon, general manager Sung Min-gyu, acting manager Lee Jong-woon, and captain Ahn Chi-hong. They sat down with Choi Dong-won’s mother, Kim Jeong-ja, and laid flowers at the statue.
Choi Dong-won, Lotte’s first ‘permanent retired number’, is a legend who led the team to its first championship in the 1984 Korean Series, taking responsibility for four wins alone. Until 1992, when Lotte was led by Yeom Jong-seok, Lotte had won the Korean Series only twice.
Choi Dong-won pitched in a total of 248 games in the KBO League, pitched 1,414⅔ innings, and recorded 103 wins, 74 losses, and an average ERA of 2.46. His 81 complete games and 15 shutouts are also strong.
He passed away in 2011, leaving behind his love for his hometown team Lotte, the glory he directed, and his sparkling baseball life. The memorial association was created by people who remembered Choi Dong-won, who could not return to his hometown Busan even after his death. In 2013, the second anniversary of Choi Dong-won’s death, a statue was unveiled at Sajik Baseball Stadium Square and the first memorial event was held. Since then, the Memorial Association has been honoring the deceased by designating the 14th on the day of the Lotte game and the 13th on the day without it as ‘Choi Dong-won Day’.
The event began with a story about Choi Dong-won by Park Young-gil, Lotte’s first manager who recruited Choi Dong-won to Lotte, and continued with floral tributes and an autograph signing by Lotte legends Yeom Jong-seok and Joo Hyung-kwang.
Kang Jin-soo, Secretary General of the Memorial Association, said, “Today was the largest event (more than 200 people) since the statue unveiling ceremony (about 400 people).” In addition to memorial events, the Memorial Association operates the Choi Dong-won Award, the High School Choi Dong-won Award, and a youth baseball team.
Lotte Club also broadcast Choi Dong-won’s memorial video on the electronic display board before the game against NC Dinos, and the players and spectators held a moment of silence together. Next, players from Choi Dong-won’s youth baseball team sang the national anthem, and Kwon Jin-hyuk, a baseball player from his alma mater, Gyeongnam High School, threw a special first pitch. On this day, the Lotte team played the game with Choi Dong-won’s number 11 and a silhouette patch attached to their uniforms.
Acting Lotte coach Lee Jong-woon said, “We have to win no matter what. We just do our best, one game at a time. There is no tomorrow. Don’t the fans want that too?” He added, “(As it is Choi Dong-won Day), our players will also play the game with a special attitude. “My role is to make sure the players don’t give up until the end,” he emphasized. Until the day before, Lotte was in 7th place, 8 games behind 5th place SSG Landers.