June 29, 2017 11:08
Hwang Jae-gyun, who was playing for a minor league team under the San Francisco Giants this season, recently pondered leaving the team as he saw a slim chance of playing in the big league.
Hwang came to the U.S. in January with a one-year split contract with the Giants to pursue his longtime dream of playing Major League Baseball, but he was never called to the main roster.
During spring training, he impressed the players and coaches alike by winning the Barney Nugent Award as the best newcomer in March. But at the start of the season, he was sent to the minor league and his dream seemed elusive.
On Monday, he told a Korean reporter that he would give up the remainder of his salary and become a free agent. The next day, however, he had a change of luck with a call from the Giant's assistant general manager, who told him that he was promoted, and to fly to San Francisco immediately. The chance he was waiting for finally came as the Giants' backup infielder Conor Gillaspie hurt his back.
"I think I will be able to enjoy playing whether I do well or not," he said excitedly. He is now the 21st Korean in the MLB.
On Wednesday, Hwang played as a third baseman in a home game against the Colorado Rockies and hit a solo homer in just his third at-bat.
Now, on the main stage of his dream and with a homer in his first big league game, it remains to be seen how high he can go from here.
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