It took 19 years. In that time, South Korea’s women’s baseball team has come a long way.
The South Korean women’s national baseball team suffered a cold 0-10 loss to the “world’s best” Japan Women’s National Team on Saturday (June 26).
It was predictable. Unlike the reality of women’s baseball in Korea, where there is no support, no interest, and no professional teams, Japan is so popular that men’s baseball is nicknamed “Samurai Japan” and women’s baseball is nicknamed “Madonna Japan”.
There are also some of the best elite courses in the world for girls who want to play baseball. Japanese girls start learning the fundamentals of the game in elementary school and then move on to professional teams after high school. When they retire from the national team, they go to frontline schools to continue their coaching careers. It’s a virtuous cycle that creates elite women’s baseball players.
The coaches of the South Korean women’s national team were also surprised to see the Japanese team. Pitching coach Jung Yong-woon, who played for the Kia Tigers and LG Twins, said, “They look like professionals from the moment they throw. They are also very relaxed when receiving. The Japanese are professionals.”
Japan’s women’s national baseball team trains ahead of their game against South Korea. Taichung (Hong Kong) | By Hwang Hye-jung. email@example.com
Winning was like hoping for a miracle, as everything from the basics to the pitching, system, support, interest, and player base were different. However, the game proved that the gap between the two teams is shrinking.
Back in 2004, South Korea suffered a 0-53 thrashing at the hands of Japan. They didn’t score a single run and lost a cold game in the fifth inning. At the time, South Korea did not have a national women’s baseball team, so a social women’s baseball club, “Secretly,” led by Ahn Hyang-mi, the country’s No. 1 female baseball player, competed as the national team. It’s no surprise that the club, which was founded less than four months ago, suffered a massive defeat against the well-disciplined Japanese national team.
But today, 19 years later, the national team faces a more mature Japan. Not much has changed in that time. The team was still preparing for the tournament in silence, unable to find a main sponsor, until Ostem Implant stepped in and donated 30 million won메이저놀이터. This was because Choi Song-hee, the pitcher of the national team, is an Austem employee.
The women’s national baseball team turns a double play against Japan on June 26. Tainan (Hong Kong) | By Hwang Hye-jung. firstname.lastname@example.org
Even though the team only managed one hit on the day and suffered an 0-10 loss, there was hope for the team’s performance. They didn’t miss a single infield/outfield play, which was a common occurrence just a few years ago.
There was even one perfect “double play”. The double play of second baseman (Lee Ji-a), shortstop (Park Joo-ah), and first baseman (Jang Yoon-seo) caused gasps everywhere. Pitcher Lee Ji-sook, a college student in her early 20s, pitched a no-hitter in the first inning, setting the stage for the rest of the tournament.
Kwak Min-jung, who started the game and gave up five runs in 1.2 innings, is the future of Korean women’s baseball. A high school freshman, she is the youngest member of the team, but she has the fastest ball of the eight pitchers, and she said she “saw and felt a lot of things” from the game against Japan. And so the future of Korea has grown once again.
“I’m just envious of Japan because they emphasize fundamentals for both men and women,” said Yang Sang-moon, head coach of the national team. I hope that Korea will also establish a system that emphasizes the basics from a young age.”
Despite the same shame of losing the cold game, the quality of the game has changed in 19 years. Korean women’s baseball has grown once more, and it is still growing despite the indifference and lack of support.