December 30, 2019 09:48
Pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin held his first press conference for the Toronto Blue Jays at the team's home stadium, the Rogers Centre, on Friday.
Ryu, who became a free agent after his contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers expired at the end of last season, signed a four-year, US$80-million deal with the Blue Jays. It is the most lucrative deal the club has ever signed with a pitcher.
He will continue to wear his Dodgers' jersey number, No. 99, but will be the first player to do so for Canada's only Major League Baseball team.
No. 99 has a special significance in Canada, where ice hockey is the most popular sport, as Wayne Gretzky, a legendary player in the National Hockey League, wore the number for the Edmonton Oilers. Gretzky led the team to win four Stanley Cup championship trophies before moving to the Los Angeles Kings in 1988 and ending his professional career with the New York Rangers in 1999.
Ryu did not forget to thank his first MLB team.
"Dodgers fans, thank you for great 7 years supporting me. I had a wonderful time during those years. I will keep those moments in my heart," he wrote on his Instagram account after the press event.
He returns to Korea on Monday for personal training.
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