The ‘romantic’ baseball that the ‘periphery’ Czech Republic showed. This is a look that has implications for Korean baseball, which has collapsed under pressure. 

The 4th game of the 1st round of Group B of the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) between the Czech Republic and Australia held on the 13th. A rare scene appeared. In the top of the 6th inning when the score was tied 1-1, with 2 out on 1st base, Czech coach Pavel Hadim took off his hat and bowed his head to pitcher Martin Schneider, who had blocked the previous 5 1/3 innings. . 

it pays respect Schneider filled the limit on the number of pitches (65) for the first round that day. He also recorded 49 pitches against China on the 10th. 

The Czech Republic could advance to the quarterfinals if they won the game against Australia by 3 runs or less. Head coach Hadim entrusted the mound to the most reliable player. Above all, I wanted to show my best to the Czech fans who visited the stadium and those watching through the relay in their home country.  

Schneider also appeared as a starting pitcher in the final qualifying match against Spain held in Germany in September of last year, and led the Czech Republic to a 3-1 victory by pitching well with 1 run in 6 1/3 innings. He is a player who showed special talent by playing both pitching and hitting in the Czech baseball league (Extraliga). 

It seems the manager wanted to publicly thank Schneider for his dedication to resonating with his teammates and his countrymen throughout his journey through the WBC.  

‘Czech baseball hero’ Schneider’s day job is a firefighter. Most Czech players have a full-time job. Field janitors, association public relations staff, electricians, and more. Although they are not full-time players, the Czech players’ passion for baseball is second to none. The same goes for skills. In the game against China on the 10th, they won 8-5. 

The way he enjoyed the competition was also impressive. Ondrei Satoria, who pitched against Japan and faced Major League (MLB) superstar Shohei Ohtani, was thrilled, saying that it was an unforgettable experience for the rest of his life. He also struck out three pitches against Ohtani in the bottom of the third inning. After the match, he shared his feelings and expressed his wish to get Ohtani’s autograph. 

The same was true of William Escala, who was hit in the knee by Rocky Sasaki, the starting pitcher and ‘Fireballer’ in the match against Japan. Even after being hit by a 162km/h fastball, he held his own and stepped on first base, drawing applause from Japanese fans inside the Tokyo Dome. After the game, Sasaki gave Escala a snack as an apology and took a commemorative photo together.  나르샤 토토

The Czech Republic lost to Japan 2-10. However, Japanese fans applauded the fighting spirit and passion shown in this match. Ohtani also posted pictures of Czech players on his personal social media (SNS) with the phrase ‘Respect’. Head coach Hadim gave meaning to the fact that the game against Japan was broadcast on national television and he was able to play baseball in front of a full crowd at the Tokyo Dome. 

Some Korean players showed a sense of pressure in the match against Australia and Japan. There was also a pitcher who did not show his skills at all and walked excessively. The posture you enjoy in the world of competition is not always right. However, the appearance of the Czech team, which gives meaning to their participation and does not take the fighting spirit of their teammates for granted, is worthy of being an example to Korean players. 

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