The dream of working in a baseball field without an outfield “Now I’m going to goshien to win”

“Across the East Sea, the land of Yamato is the sacred dream of our ancestors. A Korean academy, our friendly home where we cultivate our bodies and virtues in the morning and evening.”

0-34 defeat, great reversal of a ragtag team running third base instead of first base

It is a Korean school song that has been resounding over the past two years at the Hanshin Koshien Stadium in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, the heart of Japanese high school baseball, by Kyoto International High School, a Korean ethnic school. The High School Baseball Championship (Koshien), held every spring and summer, is broadcast live on NHK to spread the school songs of participating and winning teams throughout the archipelago. In particular, unlike the spring Koshien, where the organizers invite excellent teams, some 3,500 teams from all over Japan participated in the summer Koshien, where only 49 teams competed in the regional qualifiers.토토사이트

It was like a miracle that happened to a ragtag team that lost 0-34 in its first game in 1999, batted, and played third base instead of first base. It is only natural that it has emerged as the pride of the region as well as the Korean community in Japan. Park Kyung-soo (63), principal of Kyoto International High School, who took office in 2017, boasted, “If you take a taxi in the Kyoto area, you may not know the exact name of our school, but if you say ‘the team that went to Koshien,’ you will know everything.”

There is no space in the outfield, so normal hitting and defense training is not possible…ball boys waiting in the parking lot

Looking at the training site of Kyoto International High School, which the Hankook Ilbo witnessed last month, it was easy to understand why the semifinals of Koshien had to be called a miracle. Kyoto International High School has one practice field. However, it was different from the normal ground. From home plate to the infield, it was like a regular baseball field, but there was little outfield space. The short outfield was 50m from the home plate, and the longest was 60m. The size is so small that batters’ long hits can easily go over the net, and it is an environment where normal outfield defense is impossible. It is hard to find a ground like this even in the Korean high school baseball team, which is said to have less infrastructure than Japan.

There is a parking lot for school employees behind the outfield, and two or three baseball team members wait between the ground and the parking space with gloves on, fearing that the ball will hit the ball. Shuma Hirooka and Haru Yamamura, a duo of first-year pitchers waiting to catch a flying ball in front of a parking space, said, “On average, about 10 balls come over.”

But they don’t make excuses for the poor environment. More thorough basic training, image training, and a serious attitude toward baseball made up for what was lacking. Coach Noritsugu Komaki said, “You can’t ask for something you don’t have.” We train in that way,” he explained. He continued, “Even if I exercise at school, I order them to exercise while imagining running on a baseball field.” Sophomore outfielder Osafune Hakuo also said, “During training, I try to go as deep into the outfield as possible to catch the ball.”

Cell phone interferes with sleep… Collect it before midnight to go to bed unconditionally

The rules are also strict. All of the Kyoto International High School baseball club lives in a dormitory, and players must return their cell phones to the supervisor before midnight and go to bed. It is not allowed to fall asleep after midnight. This is unimaginable in Korea, and it is a judgment to get enough sleep. Captain Taiki Hamada emphasized, “We are all running in the same direction, watching the Koshien tournament,” and stressed, “We have to endure not only baseball but also life in a dormitory group.”

With steady achievements such as the second round of Koshien in the spring of 2021, the quarterfinals of the Koshien in the summer of the same year, and advancing to the Summer Koshien for the second consecutive year the following year, Kyoto International High School has been reborn as a team that baseball-loving players from all over Japan want to come to. In addition, the impact of Morishita Ryudai, who was the team’s ace and the fourth hitter for the past two years, joined the Nippon Professional Baseball Yokohama as the fourth overall pick. Until 2003, Kyoto International High School was a Korean high school, so it had only Korean nationality students. In the process, the number of students decreased and the school was on the verge of being closed, but it overcame it and stood up.

Principal Park Kyung-soo said, “I realized my dream of playing at Koshien, so I came to know about it all over the country.” Coach Komaki also said, “The goal was to go to Koshien, but now it has changed to winning.”

Let’s become a prestigious baseball player in name and reality, seniors are also happy

Seniors from Kyoto International High School couldn’t hide their satisfaction when they saw that it was recognized as a prestigious baseball high school. “I am proud of the juniors who went to Koshien,” said Kyohei Uen of Nippon Ham, a 2020 graduate. . In high school, each player played the game with their own strength, but now they move as a team,” he praised. Doosan Shin Seong-hyeon, who graduated from Deoksoo Middle School in Seoul and went on to Kyoto International High School, said, “I was proud and envious of my juniors playing at Koshien.”

Naomi Toyota, a cook who prepares three meals a day for the players, said, “Among my friends, I have a fan of Heian High School, a prestigious Kyoto region tradition, but in the past three years, we have never beaten our Kyoto International High School.” i wish i could pay I also gained courage and strength by showing that dreams can come true. Our players are the best.”

The miracle of Kyoto International High School is not yet over. I am determined to go through the summer Koshien, which starts in July, and continue to run toward the best in Japan by climbing to the finals for three consecutive years. Morishita and Junta Hirano, the team’s ‘one-two punch’, graduated, but the freshmen’s skills are evaluated to be above expectations. Above all, it is the determination to stand tall with the power of unity and organization rather than relying on a specific player. Manager Komaki said, “Without Morishita, it can be said that there are no good pitchers. That’s why we need the strength of the entire team,” he said. “I want to tell the players more about the taste of winning. This summer, too, the Koshien final is my goal,” he emphasized. The players were also confident that “we can win any game with all of our strength.”

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