“I could. Because I can.”
Four years ago, on May 27, 2018, Doosan Bears former outfielder Kuk Hae-seong, who suffered an unexpected cruciate ligament injury while running base against the Samsung Lions in Jamsil, said a word he shouted as he entered the dugout at the time, which was a big topic for baseball fans at the time.
At the time, Kuk Hae-seong, who came out as the lead batter at the end of the 4th inning, hit a double from the right side of right field. And Kook Hae-seong, who was aiming for third base with a tag-up when hitter Heo Gyeong-min’s fly ball to right field, slipped and broke his left knee while returning to second base.
At first glance, it was a serious injury. Kuk Hae-seong, who was holding his left knee, complained of pain and could not get up. As the inning ended with Samsung’s tag-out, Doosan coaches and medical staff ran to Hae-seong Kuk. All the people involved in the field stopped Haeseong Kuk from their seats.
“At the time, Haeseong Kuk’s knee was severely bent, so he had to rest unconditionally. It was too much to stand up. But Kuk Hae-seong said, ‘I can do it. ‘Cause he can do it,’ he exclaimed. There are times when you can’t make a rational decision if you get seriously injured in the moment. It was so heartbreaking and sad.” This is the recollection of an official at the time.
Kuk Hae-seong returned to the first team stage after a long rehabilitation due to a cruciate ligament injury. Kuk Hae-seong also left a strong impression with a pinch hit double at the end of the 9th inning, which led to a dramatic victory in the final game of the regular season for the team during the 2019 season.
However, Kook Hae-seong, who had hardly been able to establish himself on the first team stage, applied for Futures FA qualification after the end of the 2021 season. He wanted to find a new nest and seize new opportunities, but Kook Hae-seong was unable to sign a free agent contract with Futures, and signed a contract with Seongnam Magpies, an independent club, to continue his career as a player.
After living in an independent club for about 1 year and 6 months, Kuk Hae-seong finally returned to the professional stage. Lotte Giants teamed up with Kuk Hae-seong. On May 22, Lotte officially announced the recruitment of Kuk Hae-seong. The Lotte club revealed the background of the recruitment, saying, “As a switch hitter who can create long hits, Kuk Hae-seong will be helpful in strengthening the depth of the outfield and utilizing pinch-hit resources.”
Kuk Hae-seong, who contacted MK Sports after the announcement of Lotte’s recruitment, said, “I visited Sajik Stadium last Saturday (20th) and digested the joining test. And he had a meeting with the club and signed a contract right away. He underwent another knee surgery (right), which he injured during a game last year, and recovered well. He wanted to check that part well through his entry test at the club. Seong Min-kyu, general manager, said, ‘Congratulations on joining Lotte. Let’s do well,’ he said.
There were quite a few colleagues at Lotte who had a relationship with Kuk Hae-seong. Kuk Hae-seong said, “There are players who are more connected than I thought. (Yoon) I know Myung-jun well because I’ve seen him at Doosan for a long time. There is (an) Kwon Soo who was together. (Go) I didn’t know Seung-min, but it turned out that there was Ji-yeon from Gunsan (laughs). Coach Kim Dong-han, who is in the 2nd division, also had a long-standing relationship with Doosan 2nd division. (Yu) Gangnam and (Cha) Woochan hyung also greeted each other often in Jamsil.”
Despite his longer-than-expected life as an independent club, Kuk Hae-seong did not let go of the extension of his active career. He also received great help from the Seongnam Magfires team and coaches.
Kuk Hae-seong said, “Thanks to the consideration of coach Shin Gyeong-sik and coaches, his training and actual game digestion went well without any problems. I really want to say thank you. If he was young, he would have been excited and excited to return to the professional stage, but since he is old and his skills are still lacking, he is not excited and wants to return to his original mind and desperately play baseball.”
Kook Hae-seong has long hitting power, just like the team’s wish to show to Lotte fans. In addition to this, Kook Hae-seong’s confidence is that he can handle both defense and run without problems.
Kuk Hae-seong said, “You know all about my baseball color, don’t you? Hitting power is the number one priority, and I think I can show 100% condition not only in that area, but also in defense and running. I will show you strong play both at the plate and on the ground. I remember hitting a crucial pinch-hitter when Doosan won the regular season four years ago, but I want to create several decisive scenes for the team’s victory at Lotte,” he said, raising his voice.먹튀검증
Kuk Hae-seong stuck out his tongue at the fever of the Sajik Stadium he visited during his entrance exam. Kuk Hae-seong wants to show a play that can live up to the enthusiasm of such Lotte fans.
Kook Hae-seong said, “I was surprised to see the enthusiasm of the full crowd at Sajik Stadium when I visited during the entrance test. He had never seen such an atmosphere outside the baseball field. It occurred to me that if I was good at baseball, I had no choice but to become the best team. I haven’t been a great player so far, but I will try to become a player who can live up to the expectations of Lotte fans. I will show you an activity that lives up to the heat of the Sajik Stadium.”