October 30, 2013 09:08
Ryu Hyun-jin enjoyed a glorious homecoming when he arrived at Incheon International Airport on Tuesday, nine months after leaving to join the Los Angeles Dodgers in January. Fans and autograph-hunters made a stampede to fete his successful rookie year in Major League Baseball, when he scored 14 wins for the Dodgers.
Wearing a blue jacket and white T-shirt bearing a picture of Italian actress Monica Bellucci, Ryu arrived back in Korea with his older brother Hyun-soo and his interpreter Martin Kim.
Yoon Suk-min, a Kia Tigers' pitcher who earned the right to play overseas at the end of this season, and who is currently in Los Angeles looking for a MLB club, saw Ryu off at the city's airport. Ryu signed autographs and took pictures with fans there before boarding the plane home.
Upon arriving in Incheon, Ryu said, "When I left [back in January], I said I would do my best so that baseball fans would celebrate my successful return. I think I kept that promise."
Ryu had an impressive debut season in the MLB. His 14-8 record with a 3.00 ERA was instrumental in helping the team advance to the post-season. He also became the first Korean pitcher to have a starting win in the MLB's post-season in the third match of the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals by blanking the Cardinals for seven innings, giving up just three hits.
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