“I can’t believe it.”
I was flying home from the Women’s Baseball World Cup 2024 (WBSC) qualifiers in Thunder Bay, Canada. With no direct flights available, the team had been traveling from Thunder Bay to Toronto since the early hours of the morning and had just landed in Toronto for a quick breakfast.
Suddenly, there was a buzz around the national team and someone said, “Ryu Hyun-jin is here!” It was true. Major leaguer Ryu Hyun-jin (36, Toronto Blue Jays) had arrived with his wife, Bae Ji-hyun, and their daughter.
He was invited by the national team’s head coach, Jung Geun-woo. “Ryu has been with the national team for a long time, and we’ve always been close. I contacted him the night before and asked him, ‘Can you come to Toronto?
Coach Jung’s final surprise for the women’s baseball team. “I invited him to give our women’s baseball team confidence and hope. I think the timing was perfect because Ryu Hyun-jin just got his first win back yesterday (April 14) and visited the team,” he smiled. 스포츠토토
When the players saw Ryu, their mouths dropped open and they were speechless. Pitcher Lee Ji-sook said, “I can’t believe it,” and followed Ryu’s every move with her eyes. Pitcher Kwak Min-jeong said, “It’s so cool,” and her eyes were filled with her idol.
The players were nervous in front of the superstar, but when one or two got up the courage to ask for a handshake, the rest of them followed suit, asking for autographs, pictures, and handshakes. Ryu was happy to oblige.
“I think it’s amazing to see the women’s baseball players. I came to Canada to play an international tournament, and I didn’t have a lot of support. However, it was great to see them trying their best every moment,” he encouraged.
“I hope that there will be more international women’s baseball tournaments so that women can try their hand at it, and I hope that they can achieve good results one day,” said Ryu.
National team coach Yang Sang-moon said, “I heard that Coach (Jung) Geun-woo contacted Ryu Hyun-jin last night. There was no confirmation that he would come, but he came today as a surprise. Thank you very much for coming. It was a meaningful meeting for the players,” he said.