Neither Hyeon-jong Yang of ‘Great Pitcher’ nor Seong-beom Na of ‘Nastar’ were involved. The KIA Tigers’ most popular guy was Lee Chang-jin.
KIA players departed for the Arizona spring camp through Incheon International Airport on the 30th of last month. Many fans gathered at the airport to support the KIA players, and the players responded with friendly fan service.
The reporters focused their attention on Yang Hyeon-jong, Na Seong-beom and ‘Super Rookie’ Yoon Young-chul, who were selected for the WBC baseball team. However, there was a player who drove the most fans. It was Lee Chang-jin. Lee Chang-jin was surrounded by numerous female fans and suffered from autograph attacks. Even while he was busy preparing for his departure, he did not forget to smile and kindly made memories with fans by signing autographs and taking selfies.
Lee Chang-jin is a player who appeared like a comet in the 2019 season and took the place of the KIA’s main center fielder with his outstanding batting ability. That year안전놀이터 , she was even nominated for Rookie of the Year, and she was nicknamed ‘Bright Changjin’ by KIA fans. But after that, she couldn’t shine for two years due to big and small injuries, and she seemed to be forgotten as it was, not even on the spring camp roster before last season.
But her Lee Chang-jin stood up again and began to glow. Last season, he appeared in 111 games amid fierce competition in the outfield and stood tall as a starter with a batting average of 0.301, 7 homers, 44 RBIs and 56 points. It was a career high season even though he fell short of the regulation plate. The team also recognized his performance and won 140 million won, a 100% increase from the previous salary of 70 million won.
As much as the 100% increase in salary, the popularity of fans has also increased tremendously. According to data analysis company TLOG, the KIA Tigers are the most popular professional baseball team in Korea. Even in KIA, which has many fans, Lee Chang-jin’s popularity does not lag behind at all. It was clear from the airport that the number of fans has definitely increased compared to last year.
On the other hand, this season is very important to Lee Chang-jin, who has risen both in salary and popularity as he became the first billionaire in his life. It is also necessary to prove the durability of being able to digest a season in good health and the persistence that flying like a swan is not an accident.
In KIA’s outfield, there are two obvious players, Socrates and Na Seong-beom, and Lee Chang-jin, Kim Seok-hwan, Kim Ho-ryeong, and Ko Jong-wook compete for the remaining spot. In addition, Choi Won-joon, who led the team with a batting average of 0.326 in the 2020 season, will also be discharged in early June. Even this season, Lee Chang-jin cannot avoid tough infinite competition. The competition started from spring camp.