Ahn Kwon-soo started as the first batter and left fielder in a home game against the Doosan Bears in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at 6:30 p.m. on the 11th at Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan, and recorded five at-bats without a hit and one strikeout.Lotte defeated Doosan 14-3 and ended the game well in the final home game.
Lotte had the final home game of this season. Although he lost 0-7 in an away game against the LG Twins on the 10th and suffered a failure to advance to the fall baseball league for the sixth consecutive year, many Lotte fans visited Sajik Baseball Stadium and cheered for the players.
Lotte responded to the fans’ support by scoring every inning from the beginning of the game, and led 5-1 until the end of the third inning with two outs.And in the bottom of the third inning, Ahn Kwon-soo appeared with two outs and runners on first and second bases.
Ahn Kwon-soo, a native of Korean-Japanese, will no longer be able to play in the KBO League after this year due to military service issues. And it was Lotte’s final home game. It is the last day that Ahn will be able to greet Busan fans at Sajik Baseball Stadium while wearing Lotte’s uniform as a player.
Fans knew this better than anyone else. Lotte fans expressed their affection for Ahn by singing “Never Ending Story” of singer “Resurrection” when Ahn entered the batter’s box. Ahn stepped down from the batter’s box with a fly ball to center field, but Lotte fans sang Ahn’s cheering song until the end to soothe their disappointment.
The Lotte club also prepared for a breakup with Ahn Kwon-soo by posting a picture of him at his at-bat and the phrase “I was happy to be together.” 안전놀이터
Ahn Kwon-soo, who wore Doosan’s uniform as 99th overall in the second 10th round in 2020, transferred to Lotte ahead of this season. Ahn led Lotte’s rise early in the season with his fast feet and sophisticated hitting. Along with Ahn Kwon-soo’s performance, Lotte made a fierce splash by fighting for the lead until May.
However, Ahn was out of power for elbow surgery in early June, and Lotte began to decline from this point on. Three months later, when Ahn Kwon-soo returned, the team also regained vitality, but it was not enough to regain the already distant autumn baseball ticket.
Although Lotte failed to advance to the fall baseball league, fans did not forget Ahn Kwon-soo’s early performance in the season and presented unforgettable memories with songs in the final home game. It was the last gift from Lotte fans to Ahn Kwon-soo, who devoted himself to the team for a year.