Kim Jae-yeol (27) and Shin Beom-soo (25), who were selected by the NC Dinos and SSG Landers, respectively, in the second round of the draft, said goodbye to the KIA squad. Although they were sweating profusely on the field the day before, they packed their bags and visited the baseball field in clean plain clothes.
Coach Kim Jong-guk said, “I’m sorry to leave, but I have to think of it as a good opportunity and do my best,” and shook his hand, saying, “Baseball life goes around and around, and we will meet one day. I’ll see you again with a smile.” Kim and the coaching staff watched as the two players loaded their luggage into the club’s vehicle and left.
Coincidentally, it was the same day that Kia’s Jae-hak Shim arrived in Japan after completing the second round of the draft. Kim Jae-yeol and Shin Bum-soo returned home on the same flight from Incheon Airport. On the evening of the 22nd, after the second round of the draft, Shim spoke with Kim Jae-yeol on the phone and sent him a message of regret and support.굿모닝토토 도메인
Kim Jae-yeol and Shin Beom-soo arrive at Naha Airport in Okinawa. As soon as they arrived at the airport, their cell phones were buzzing. It was a call from Shim, who had arrived on the ground. He wished them a safe trip home, saying, “Welcome to the airport” and “Have a safe trip home.”
“Even if we make a protection list, it’s inevitable that we’ll miss some good players (due to the narrow scope). Kim Jae-yeol, Shin Beom-soo, and Lee Tae-gyu were all players who had recently shown growth and were considered first-team powerhouses for the new season,” he said, adding, “I was quite surprised when their names were announced. It’s too bad,” he said. He also expressed his hope that “all three players will grow well and make me regret it.”
Hearing this, Shin Beom-soo’s eyes turned red again as he bowed his head deeply. Kim Jae-yeol also said, “Last night, the director called me directly, and I was so grateful. He gave me a chance to show my skills at KIA, and I think that’s why I was nominated for the NC.” He expressed his gratitude.
Kim Jae-yeol and Shin Beom-soo arrived at Incheon International Airport with their luggage. They immediately boarded an express bus to Gwangju, where they planned to organize their belongings and leave again on the 24th for Changwon and Incheon, where NC and SSG are based. A significant travel distance of over 4 hours. They had to get off at the bus terminal and carry 3-4 bags again, so fatigue was inevitable.
The two athletes were in for a treat. Shim arranged for a limousine taxi to take them from Incheon International Airport to their accommodation in Gwangju. Even though he was leaving the team, he wanted to take care of the players until the end. Both Kim Jae-yeol and Shin Bum-soo were visibly touched by the unexpected gesture. “I’m so grateful that you took care of me until the end,” Kim Jae-yeol said, jokingly saying, “I’m going to reduce one of my four strikeouts against KIA.”
Kim Jae-yeol, who was released by the Lotte Giants in 2017 and played for a social baseball team, donned a KIA uniform after a tryout ahead of the 2020 season. After four years of dedication with a 150-kilometer fastball, he was given another chance in the NC. Shin Beom-soo, a “local boy” who joined KIA after captaining Gwangju Dongseong High School, was also touted as a player who could solve SSG’s catcher anxiety after showing promise this season. All of them are looking forward to taking the field at the Gwangju Kia Champions Field with their new teams.